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Ted Kotcheff

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Ted Kotcheff

Film director

Ted Kotcheff Director Ted Kotcheff on Wake in Fright Filmmaker Magazine

Full Name
William Theodore Kotcheff

April 7, 1931 (age 93) (
Toronto, Canada

Other names
William Kotchff, William T. Kotcheff

Film directorFilm producer

Sylvia Kay (m. 1960–1972), Laifun Chung

Alexandra Kotcheff, Joshua Kotcheff, Aaron Kotcheff, Thomas Kotcheff, Katrina Kotcheff

First Blood, Wake in Fright, Weekend at Bernie's, Uncommon Valor, The Apprenticeship of Duddy

Similar People
Richard Crenna, Brian Dennehy, Gary Bond, David Morrell, Mordecai Richler

Be a film director or go broke by ted kotcheff

William Theodore "Ted" Kotcheff (born April 7, 1931; as Velichko Todorov Tsochev) is a Bulgarian-Canadian film and television director and producer, known primarily for his work on several high-profile British and American television productions such as Armchair Theatre and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He has also directed numerous successful films including the seminal Australian classic Wake in Fright, action films such as First Blood and Uncommon Valor, and comedies like Weekend at Bernie's, Fun with Dick and Jane, and North Dallas Forty. He is sometimes credited as William T. Kotcheff, and currently resides in Beverly Hills, California.


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Early life

Ted Kotcheff Ted Kotcheff Pictures Photos amp Images Zimbio

Kotcheff was born as Velichko Todoroff Tsotcheff in Toronto. His parents were Bulgarian immigrants. His father was born in Plovdiv, while his mother was of Macedonian Bulgarian background, from Vambel, today in Greece, but grew up in Varna, Bulgaria. After graduating in English Literature from University College, University of Toronto, Kotcheff began his television career at the age of twenty-four when he joined the staff of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, with television still very much in its infancy in the country. Kotcheff was the youngest director on the staff of the CBC, where he worked for two years on shows such as General Motors Theatre before in 1958 leaving Canada to live and work in the United Kingdom.

Ted Kotcheff Interview Wake In Fright Director Ted Kotcheff Talks Martin

He was inspired by his compatriot Sydney Newman, who had been the Director of Drama at the CBC and had moved to the U.K. to take up a similar position at ABC Television, one of the local franchise holders of the ITV network who also produced much of the nationally networked programming for the channel. At ABC, Newman as producer of the popular Armchair Theatre anthology drama programme, employed Kotcheff as a director of this series between 1958 and 1960.


Ted Kotcheff ABC Classic FM Midday Film director Ted Kotcheff

Kotcheff was responsible for directing some of the best-remembered installments in the Armchair Theatre anthology series from 1958 to 1964. During Underground, transmitted live on 30 November 1958, Kotcheff was required to cope with one of the actors suddenly dying while between two of his scenes. More successfully, Kotcheff also directed the following year's No Trams to Lime Street by Welsh playwright Alun Owen.

Kotcheff also worked in the theatre, and in 1962 made his first feature film, Tiara Tahiti. He went on to direct other features during the decade, including Life at the Top (1965) and Two Gentlemen Sharing (1969).

In 1971, he directed the classic Australian film Wake in Fright (originally released in the USA in 1971 as "Outback", but re-released in 2012 with its original title). It won much critical acclaim in Europe, and was Australia's entry at the Cannes Film Festival. (In 2009, Wake in Fright was re-released on DVD and Blu-ray disc in a fully restored version.) Also in 1971, Kotcheff returned to television, directing the Play for Today production Edna, the Inebriate Woman for the BBC, which won him a British Academy Television Award for Best Director. In 2000, the play was voted one of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes of the 20th century in a poll of industry professionals conducted by the British Film Institute.

In 1972, he returned home to Canada, where he directed several films including adaptations of his friend and one-time housemate Mordecai Richler's novels The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and Joshua Then and Now. The former film won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival making it the first Canadian film to win an international award. He directed many other films throughout the 1970s and 80s, most in the United States, with perhaps the best-known being the Sylvester Stallone feature First Blood in 1982. They would range from comedies (Fun with Dick and Jane) to dramas (Winter People).

In the 1990s, he returned to directing for TV, working on various American series such as Red Shoe Diaries and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, where he acts as co-Executive Producer.

Personal life

Kotcheff now lives in Beverly Hills with his wife Laifun and two children Alexandra and Thomas. He has three children from a previous marriage to the actress Sylvia Kay: Aaron, Katrina and Joshua.

In May and June 2013 he was invited to the Film Forum in New York City for a re-release of his film The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, restored by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.

In February 2016, Kotcheff has acquired Bulgarian citizenship in Bulgarian Consulate in Los Angeles, and during his visit in Bulgaria in March, he was granted one. Given his Macedonian heritage, Kotcheff served on the Board of Directors of the Macedonian Arts Council. Per Kotcheff himself, there is not a difference between Macedonian and Bulgarian.


Director (Film)
  • Tiara Tahiti (1962)
  • Life at the Top (1965)
  • Two Gentlemen Sharing (1969)
  • Wake in Fright (1971)
  • The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974, The Golden Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival)
  • Billy Two Hats (1974)
  • Fun with Dick and Jane (1977)
  • Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978)
  • North Dallas Forty (1979)
  • Split Image (1982)
  • First Blood (1982)
  • Uncommon Valor (1983)
  • Joshua Then and Now (1985)
  • Switching Channels (1988)
  • Weekend at Bernie's (1989)
  • Winter People (1989)
  • Folks! (1992)
  • The Shooter (1995)
  • Borrowed Hearts (1997)
  • Director (Television)
  • On Camera (1956)—as W.T. Kotcheff
  • Hour of Mystery (1957)
  • Underground (1958)
  • No Trams to Lime Street (1959)
  • After the Funeral (1960)
  • Lena, O My Lena (1960)
  • I'll Have You Remember (1961)
  • BBC Sunday-Night Play (1962-1963)
  • ITV Television Playhouse (1963)
  • Espionage (1963)
  • Land of My Dreams (1964)
  • First Night (1963-1964)
  • Drama 64 (1964)
  • Armchair Theatre (1958-1964)
  • The Human Voice (1967)
  • The Desperate Hours (1967)
  • Edna, the Inebriate Woman (1971)
  • What Are Families for? (1993)
  • Red Shoe Diaries 3: Another Woman's Lipstick (1993)
  • Love on the Run (1994)
  • A Family of Cops (1995)
  • Red Shoe Diaries 5: Weekend Pass (1995)
  • A Husband, a Wife and a Lover (1996)
  • Buddy Faro (1998)
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999)
  • Crime in Connecticut: The Story of Alex Kelly (1999)
  • References

    Ted Kotcheff Wikipedia

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