Terryville, Plymouth, Connecticut, USA
Place of Death
Pacific Palisades, California, USA
Cause of Death
Cancer - Colon
Claim to Fame
Ted Baxter on Mary Tyler Moore, Too Close for Comf
Profile Bio Text
Ted Knight (December 7, 1923 – August 26, 1986) was an American actor best known for playing the comedic role of Ted Baxter on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Henry Rush on Too Close for Comfort, and Judge Smails in Caddyshack. Ted Knight has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to Television, at 6673 Hollywood Boulevard.
Born Tadeusz Wladyslaw Konopka to a Polish American family in Terryville, Connecticut, Knight dropped out of high school to enlist for military service in World War II, earning five battle stars while serving in the European Theatre.
In 1948, he married Dorothy Smith, and eventually had three children, Ted Knight. Jr, Elyse, and Eric.
During the postwar years, Knight studied acting in Hartford, Connecticut. He became proficient with puppets and ventriloquism, which led to steady work as a TV kiddie-show host. In 1955, he left Hartford for Albany, New York where he landed a job at station WROW-TV (now WTEN), hosting "The Early Show" featuring MGM movies and a kids variety show playing a `Gabby Hayes` type character named `Windy Knight. He was also a radio announcer for sister station WROW radio. He left the station in 1957 after receiving advice from station manager (and future Capital Cities Chairman) Thomas S. Murphy that he should take his talents to Hollywood. Knight spent most of the 1950s and 1960s doing commercial voice-overs and essaying minor TV and movie roles (he was the nonspeaking cop who was guarding Norman Bates at the end of Alfred Hitchcock`s Psycho (1960). In the 1962-1963 season, he appeared as "Haskell" in the short-lived drama and situation comedy The New Loretta Young Show on CBS. Knight`s distinctive speaking voice brought him work as an announcer -- he narrated several animated television series including Super Friends -- and he appeared frequently in TV shows such as Bonanza, Combat!, Get Smart, The Twilight Zone,The Wild Wild West and The Love Boat. (In one Love Boat episode, he guest starred as a rival cruise captain opposite Mary Tyler Moore co-star Gavin MacLeod.)
A few months after the end of the Mary Tyler Moore Show in 1977 he was diagnosed with cancer for which he received various forms of treatment for several years. In 1985, he was diagnosed with colon cancer, which despite rigorous treatment, eventually began to spread to his bladder and throughout his lower gastrointestinal tract. He died on August 26, 1986 from complications due to surgery. He was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. His grave marker bears the name Theodore C. Konopka.
Couple Profile Source
Randall School of Fine Arts, Hartford, CT
Full Name at Birth
Tadeus Wladyslaw Konopka
Has Detailed Data (New)
Ted Knight (December 7, 1923 – August 26, 1986) was an American actor and voice artist perhaps best known for playing the comedic role of Ted Baxter in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Henry Rush in Too Close for Comfort, and Judge Elihu Smails in Caddyshack.
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