Feature-film director. Born October 26, 1964, died January 13, 2002 at the age of 37 from a heart attack while playing basketball. Often overshadowed by his Oscar-winning uncle Jonathan. His last movie, Blow, starring Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, was by far his most expensive and ambitious, and was judged a disappointment both by critics and the box office. He had been preparing the film Nautica, starring Ewan McGregor and Heath Ledger.
He also directed Life, which was a huge success for co-stars Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence, and Beautiful Girls, which made the 14-year old Natalie Portman a star. He was the preferred collaborator for comedian-turned-thespian Denis Leary: They teamed up for the Massachusetts gangster picture Monument Ave. (originally titled the less ambiguous Snitch), the well-loved The Ref (also with terrific performances by Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis), both of Leary's HBO specials (No Cure For Cancer and Lock 'N' Load, also released as albums), and an episode of the HBO series Subway Stories in which Leary stretched himself as an irate legless beggar.
In today's celebrity culture, many look to directors for a signature style or a common obsession in their work. Ted was more versatile than most, and more of a pure craftsman. He tried not to project his own personality through the camera. He got out of the way between it and the story. It's difficult to maneuver your way to the top of the Hollywood heap and remain humble, but he did, and he made some damn fine films too. We'll miss him.