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Ted Hartley
Born November 6, 1935 (1935-11-06) (age 74)
Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Years active 1933–1977
Spouse(s) Dina Merrill (1989–present)

Ted Hartley (born November 6, 1935) has been a US Navy fighter pilot, an investment banker, an actor, producer, and is currently CEO of RKO Pictures. He is married to actress Dina Merrill. He has one son, Philippe Hartley (1955-).

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Early life

Hartley was born in Omaha, Nebraska and raised on a farm in Iowa. His father died when he was 5, causing financial hardships for the family. At the age of 14, he entered a contest sponsored by Warner Bros., wrote a 50-word essay on “Why I like to fly”, and won some flying lessons. Hartley attended Shattuck Military School in Minnesota, but at the age of 16 he had already won an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, after training, he served as a carrier-based fighter pilot, flying F-11s. He also served two years as a congressional liaison for The Pentagon and had a tour as a Presidential White House Aide.[citation needed]

Career

In May 1964, while he was a United States Navy Lt. Commander, his fighter jet crash-landed on the deck of the Navy Aircraft Carrier USS Hornet, while the carrier was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Hartley was thrown from the plane on impact, and it then exploded and toppled over the side of the carrier.[citation needed] Hartley's back was broken and his military career finished. After recovering, he attended Pepperdine University, where he earned his MBA, and then began a career in financial services. He became a Vice President for First Western Financial Corporation. His next career was in Hollywood, as an actor, where he took on the role of Reverend Jerry Bedford on the 1960s television series Peyton Place.[citation needed] He acted in films with Cary Grant, Robert Redford and Clint Eastwood, and then in the late 1970s was cast in his own series, ABC's Chopper One, about helicopter cops. The series failed, and Hartley's agent advised him to take a year off. Hartley then moved to Aspen, Colorado, where he volunteered as the Managing Artistic Director of the local theater, and then returned to investment banking full-time.

In 1987 he became involved with Pavilion Communications Inc., a company designed to acquire smaller entertainment companies. Through this, Hartley learned of an opportunity to take over RKO Pictures. He and his wife, actress Dina Merrill, purchased 51% of the company, and they merged Pavilion Communications with RKO Pictures Corporation in 1991, forming RKO Pictures, Inc. Their first major project was the 1998 remake of Mighty Joe Young.

Notable acting roles

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Television

Film

External links


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