Ted Ashley
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Ted Ashley
Ted Ashley
Born
Theodore Assofsky

August 3, 1922
DiedAugust 24, 2002(2002-08-24) (aged 80)
NationalityUnited States
OccupationMedia executive
Known forchairman of the Warner Bros.
Connie Sitomar (divorced)
Page Cuddy (until death)
ChildrenFran Ashley Dubin
Diane Ashley
Kim Ashley Balin
Ba-nhi Ashley Sinclair

Ted Ashley (August 3, 1922 - August 24, 2002) was the chairman of the Warner Bros. film studio from 1969 to 1980 and founder of the Ashley-Famous talent agency.

Biography

Ashley was born to a poor Jewish family in a Brooklyn in 1922 as Theodore Assofsky.[1][2] He graduated from Franklin K. Lane High School.[1] At the age of 14, he went to work at the William Morris Agency where his uncle, Nat Lefkowitz, worked as a general manager (Lefkowitz would later rise to become president and then co-chairman of the William Morris Agency).[3] At the age of 20, he became an agent for the agency and changed his name to "Ashley" as it sounded dignified and English.[1] In 1945, despite the ire of his uncle, he started his own talent agency, Ted Ashley and Associates[1] In 1950, he was joined by William Morris agent Ira L. Steiner and the agency was renamed the Ashley-Steiner Agency.[4][5] In 1962, the agency was renamed Ashley-Famous after it purchased Charles K. Feldman's Famous Artists Agency. In 1967, the agency was sold to Kinney National Company in exchange for 12,750,000 in Kinney stock.[1] Ashley made the sale for personal reasons, indicating that he did not want to be an agent anymore. In an interview, Ashley quotes, "There's something undermining to one's sense of one's self about that whole relationship" (referencing the agent and client partnership).[1]

In 1969, Kinney head Steve Ross acquired the cash-strapped film company Warner Bros.-Seven Arts at Ashley's suggestion. The purchase was made and Ashley was appointed CEO of the movie studio where he served until 1981. Beginning with the unexpected success of the concert documentary Woodstock (1970), the company started scoring box office hits again, reestablishing Warner Bros. as a major studio. He then became vice chairman of Warner Communications until his retirement in 1988.

Personal life

Ashley was married twice. In 1945, he married Connie Sitomar, the sister of his best friend who also worked at the Willim Morris Agency.[1] His second wife was Page Cuddy.[6] He died aged 80 in New York of leukemia, after a long illness.[7][6] He had two biological daughters: Fran Curtis Dubin and Diane Ashley; and two adopted daughters, Kim Balin and Banhi Sinclair[7][6] whom he and his second wife adopted after the death of actress Ina Balin.[8]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Fleming, Karl (June 24, 1974). "Who is Ted Ashley? Just the King of Hollywood, Baby". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2018.
  2. ^ Erens, Patricia The Jew in American Cinema ISBN 9780253204936 | ISBN 0253204933 | Publisher: Indiana University Press | Publish Date: August 1988
  3. ^ "Nat Lefkowitz, a former co-chairman of the William Morris Agency, the theatrical talent agency with which he was associated for 56 years, died Sunday in New York University Medical Center, where he had undergone heart surgery". New York Times. September 6, 1983.
  4. ^ Steiner Joins Ashley Firm. Billboard. August 12, 1950.
  5. ^ "Ira L. Steiner, 70; Veteran Talent Agent". Los Angeles Times. February 17, 1985. Retrieved 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Los Angeles Times: "Ted Ashley, 80; Talent Agent Also Ran Warner Bros. Studio" by Myrna Oliver August 26, 2002
  7. ^ a b New York Times: "Ted Ashley, 80, Former Head of Warner Brothers" By ALAN FEUER August 26, 2002
  8. ^ "Actress Ina Balin, who as Saigon "was falling in 1975 helped spirit 217 Vietnamese orphans out of the city and ended up adopting three of them herself, died at the age of 52 of lung disease in New Haven, Conn". People. July 9, 1990.

External links


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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