William Kotcheff, "Ted," filmmaker, producer (b at Toronto 7 Apr 1931). Ted Kotcheff studied literature at U of T, joined the CBC in 1952 and soon began directing. He left for England in 1957, directing many TV productions and stage plays as well as his first films. After making Outback (1971) in Australia, he returned to Canada to adapt Mordecai RICHLER'S novel about a young Jewish hustler living in Montréal. At the time, THE APPRENTICESHIP OF DUDDY KRAVITZ (1974) was the most expensive privately financed film produced in Canada, but it did not sacrifice artistic integrity for commerce. Although most of Kotcheff's subsequent work was produced in the US, the filmmaker returned to Canada to adapt another Richler novel, Joshua Then and Now (1985).
Many of Kotcheff's movies have been comedic and have met with much success at the box office including Fun with Dick and Jane (1977), Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978), Switching Channels (1988), and both Weekend at Bernie's movies (1989 and 1993). He also directed Sylvester Stallone's first Rambo movie, First Blood, in 1982.
Kotcheff has enjoyed success in television as well; among other projects, in 2000 he began directing and producing episodes of the hugely popular series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.