Ted Knight

Ted Knight
Associated Press

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Ted Knight
TV: North side of the 6600 block of Hollywood Boulevard
Actor | Comedian
Born Tadeus Wladyslaw Konopka on Dec. 7, 1923 in Terryville, CT
Died Aug. 26, 1986 of cancer in Pacific Palisades, CA

Ted Knight's egomaniacal pyrotechnics as a newscaster proved a particular delight to audiences but a perennial horror to other characters on television's fabled "Mary Tyler Moore Show."

Ted Knight and newscaster Ted Baxter became indelibly mixed in the minds of TV viewers from the day "Mary Tyler Moore" went on the air, Sept. 19, 1970.

He was the pompous, overbearing sage of the WJM-TV news department — the on-the-air presence for the words written by Murray Slaughter (Gavin McLeod) as edited by Miss Moore's Mary Richards under the direction of Grant (portrayed by Ed Asner, who went on to star in his own "Lou Grant" series).

Baxter found himself constantly surrounded by a group of co-workers who never could comprehend what he perceived as his dramatic sensitivities. Their attempts to bring him back to the real world of news broadcasting generally ended in angry frustration on both sides.

It was a job, he said when the show went off the air in 1977, "that gave me more happiness than I ever had in life."

Tadeus Konopka became Ted Knight sometime after dropping out of high school to fight in World War II, where he became one of the first soldiers to enter Berlin.

He entered a Hartford, Conn., drama school and became a minor celebrity in that city as a disc jockey, ventriloquist and puppeteer before moving to New York City for television and radio roles in the mid-1950s.

Knight then came to Hollywood, where he appeared in more than 300 roles, among them the 1980 film "Caddyshack."

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