That Girl: The One Who Changed Everything | Television Academy
Howard Weston "Ted" Bessell Jr. (March 20, – October 6, ) was an American television actor and director. He is best known for his role as Donald Hollinger, the boyfriend and eventual fiancé of Marlo Thomas's character in the TV series That Girl (–71). Help us build our profile of Ted Bessell and Marlo Thomas! Login to add information, pictures and relationships, join in discussions and get credit for your . It's been nearly 15 years since Ted Bessell passed away. Don Hollinger to Marlo Thomas' Ann Marie on TV's classic That Girl sitcom (ABC.
The series also featured a rotating A-list of semi-regular and guest players, including: Off-screen, her role influenced millions of women to take charge of their own lives, this at a time when the country was feeling the first jolts of the new feminist movement.
Meanwhile, of course, millions of men across the nation fell in love with the grace, beauty and emotional agility that Thomas brought to the part.
As both the star and producer of That Girl, Thomas was equally in charge. Alongside Lucille Ball, she was one of the first women in Hollywood to engage in the delicate dance of headlining a weekly series on-camera while also producing the series off-camera. It was a perilous era for any comedy show, as the s were dominated by chaos - political assassinations, race riots, recreational drug use and the sexual revolution.That Girl: Elevated Woman
Through it all, however, Thomas and company successfully delivered an uplifting half-hour of escapism that rode to the top of the ratings in each year of its five-year run. Fans of the series grew to appreciate their respect for one another. They also enjoyed her on-screen banter with Lew Parker. We auditioned practically every young actor in town for the part…like Charles Grodin and Bill Bixby…but when Teddy and I read a few scenes together, that was it.
He had humor and a quirky kind of sexy charm that we saw immediately - and the girls in our audience just loved. We had a wonderful time working together and remained friends until the day he died.
According to Thomas, that film would have picked up the story of Ann and Donald who, having never married on the show, meet again years after he was divorced and she was a widow, running her own small theatre. Both Thomas and Bessell were very excited about the prospect. Thomas decided to turn the event into a tribute to her beloved former co-star. The segment, which originally aired on February 9,centered on a surprise birthday party being held for Ann at her apartment.
In a very touching moment, Lew Marie tells Ann: First I asked how your mother was.
10 things you never knew about 'That Girl'
Then I asked if you had ten toes, ten fingers, two eyes and a nose. She said yes and I thanked God. Then they let me look at you…and I knew that you were what I had been praying for. And, by the way, so did I.
10 things you never knew about 'That Girl'
A lifelong heavy smoker, he was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Kean informed Thomas that Parker had requested she deliver his eulogy.
I also had no idea how to write a eulogy. How could I summarize all their feelings of loss as well as my own? They need that, too. A multi-talented performer - beloved nightclub headliner, movie actor, TV producer and star - Danny Thomas would also become world-renowned for founding St. But it is her earliest memories of her dad that are most indelible.
Those two aspects, together, are so important for any young person to observe. Studying those tapes, he would carefully hone his comedic timing, musical selections and audience interaction in order to insure the perfection of subsequent performances. I learned so much from that.
You need to tell a logical, credible story - and you need to do it in 22 minutes. Always be honest, and never go for a joke or an easy laugh if it takes you off the road of your story. It was a tremendous thing to witness, and it impacted my work as an actor and producer.
Everything that I do stems from that same organic place. They needed a young female star, and they thought I was it.
Remembering Ted Bessell: "That Guy" On "That Girl" - Herbie J Pilato | MediaVillage
Aspiring actress Ann Marie, recently arrived in New York City, is working at a newsstand in the lobby of an office building when she is spotted by two men looking to film a television commercial made to look like a hold up. Ann excitedly agrees to be the damsel in distress for the commercial to be filmed later that evening at the newsstand itself.
That same day, Ann meets Donald Hollinger, a writer with Newsview Magazine, whose offices are located in that building. Ann and Donald, while friendly enough to each other, are on opposing sides of wanting to buy the same roll top desk in a business moving sale.
Trivia bits, via IMDb: The show actually used three separate opening themes during its run.
Season 1 was a more subdued instrumental opening, also with a different video sequence. Seasons was the now-familiar more upbeat, jazzy swinging instrumental style; finally, sung lyrics were added in the 5th last season's version, to give the opening a similar, deeper context, in the wake of the new, very successful Mary Tyler Moore Show's first season the previous year.
The well-regarded Earle Hagen wrote all the music for the opening themes. Besides writing the themes to numerous other shows, Hagen is most notable for writing the tune to, and whistling the theme for, the Andy Griffith Show. The running gag of having the pre-credit sequence ending with a character referring to Ann as "that girl" was originally only supposed to be used in the pilot as it was believed that they would never be able to keep finding ways to work it into the conversation.
It ended up being used in almost all the episodes.