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William Theodore Kotcheff (born April 7, 1931 in Toronto), known as Ted Kotcheff and sometimes credited as William Kotcheff or William T. Kotcheff, is a Canadian film and television director. He is known for his work in high-profile British television productions, in addition to directing the Australian classic Wake in Fright and Hollywood hits such as First Blood, Uncommon Valor and North Dallas Forty.
Ted Kotcheff was born in Toronto, the son of a Bulgarian father and a Bulgarian mother, both from Macedonia. After graduating in English Literature at the University of Toronto, Kotcheff began his career in television at the age of 24, when he joined the team of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. There he worked two years in programs like General Motors Theater, before moving in 1958 to the United Kingdom.
Kotcheff directed some episodes of the Armchair Theater anthology from 1958 to 1964. During the Underground broadcast on November 30, 1958, Kotcheff had to deal with the sudden death of one of the actors between two scenes. The following year, Kotcheff directed No Trams to Lime Street.
Kotcheff also worked in the theater, and in 1962 he made his first film, Tiara Tahiti. He directed other films during the decade, such as Life at the Top (1965) and Two Gentlemen Sharing (1969).
In 1971, he directed the Australian film classic Wake in Fright. She was highly acclaimed in Europe and was the representative of Australia at the Cannes Film Festival. That same year Kotcheff returned to television, and directed the production Edna, the Inebriate Woman for the BBC, which was used to win a prize from the British Academy of Television for Best Director.
In 1972, he returned to Canada, where he directed several films, including the adaptation of his friend Mordecai Richler’s novel The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. The film won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, becoming the first Canadian film to win an international award. He directed many other films during the 1970s and 1980s.
However, his best-known work was the 1982 film First Blood (Acorralado, in Spain), starring Sylvester Stallone and based on the novel by David Morrell. This film was the first appearance on screen of the character John Rambo, who has subsequently starred in three more movies.
In the 1990s he returned to television and worked on American series such as Red Shoe Diaries and Law & amp; Order: Special Victims Unit.
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