In Memoriam – Ted Rich, ACE

Ted Rich, ACE, passed away from heart failure on Sept. 1. He was 88. He was a friend to me and an inspiration and mentor to so many editors.  Besides the legacy of the films and television shows he influenced, Rich leaves behind his son, Steven, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren and the many filmmakers he touched.

Rich was born in the Philippines on December 2, 1929, to an English father and French mother. He had one sister and four brothers. Before the outbreak of World War II the family moved to Beverly Hills.  After graduating from Beverly Hills High School in 1948, Rich entered UCLA majoring in Business Administration.

In 1950 Rich married his high school sweetheart, Lois Pivar. His father-in-law, Maurice Pivar, was head of the editorial department at Universal and he suggested that Rich try his hand at editing. Through Pivar, Rich met Danny Cahn, ACE, who brought Rich to Desilu Productions to assist Bud Molin on I Love Lucy. Molin taught him to edit.

Frequently they would drive down to Palm Springs with a Moviola to run cuts for Desi Arnaz. They would bring the trims along so changes could be made immediately. They would stay until Arnaz was satisfied. One time, Arnaz sent them back in Lucy’s car to get home after the driver had left with the equipment.

Rich moved up to edit on Desilu’s, Harrigan and Son (1960), a show about an Irish father and son who happened to be lawyers. He went on to edit such shows as I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster, The Bill Dana Show, My Living Doll, The Wild Wild West, McMillan & Wife, My Favorite Martian and Kolchak: The Night Stalker.

Rich’s business background came into play when he became the post-production supervisor on The Good Guys television series. This merger of business and artistry was destined to make him one of the best post supervisors in the business.

With his background in editing and a strong business education, Rich was perfect to helm post-production departments. He understood budgets, personalities and how things worked in the film and television businesses.

These were the glory days at MTM, making such shows as Hill Street Blues, St. Elsewhere, Remington Steele, Lou Grant, WKRP in Cincinnati, The White Shadow, The Bob Newhart Show, Rhoda, Phyllis, The Tony Randall Show and, of course, The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Thanks to the lessons learned from Arnaz, Rich successfully kept these shows on track. From MTM, Rich moved on to Lorimar. They were doing such hits as Dallas, Knots Landing, Falcon Crest and The Waltons along with several miniseries and movies of the week. Rich was head of the postproduction department and responsible for the completion of all those shows.

When Lorimar was acquired by Warner Bros., Rich became head of their television post department until he retired. During his retirement years, he enjoyed spending time with his son and his two grandchildren, his sister and brother-in-law, longtime friends and, of course, his dog, Milo.

He also enjoyed attending industry events, screenings and dining out. He received the ACE Career Achievement Award honoring his many years in the business, his contributions and the many people he helped with their careers. We have lost a pillar of our craft and will not see his like again. –Jack Tucker, ACE