Ted Ashley

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Ted Ashley
Born Theodore Assofsky
Died August 24, 2002(2002-08-24) (aged 80)
Nationality United States
Occupation Media executive
Known for chairman of the Warner Bros.
Spouse(s) Page Cuddy (until death)
Children Fran Ashley Dubin
Diane Ashley
Kim Ashley Balin
Ba-nhi Ashley Sinclair

Ted Ashley (August 3, 1922 – August 24, 2002) was the chairman of the Warner Bros. film studio from 1969 to 1980 and founder of the Ashley-Famous talent agency.


Ashley was born to a Jewish family[1] in Brooklyn as Theodore Assofsky. At the age of 20 he started out as a William Morris agent (He changed his name at that time). In 1951, he started his own talent agency, Ted Ashley and Associates (later Ashley-Famous after it purchased Charles K. Feldman's Famous Artists Agency in 1962), which was acquired by Kinney National Company in 1967 in exchange for 12,750,000 in Warner's stock.[2] Ashley made the sale for personal reasons, indicating that he did not want to be an agent anymore. In an interview, Ashley quotes, “There’s something undermining to one’s sense of one’s self about that whole relationship” (referencing the agent and client partnership).[2]

In 1969, Kinney head Steve Ross acquired the cash-stripped film company Warner Bros.-Seven Arts at Ashley's suggestion. The purchase was made and Ashley was appointed CEO of the movie studio where he served until 1981. Beginning with the unexpected success of the concert documentary Woodstock (1970), the company started scoring box office hits again, reestablishing Warner Bros. as a major studio. He then became vice chairman of Warner Communications until his retirement in 1988.

Personal life[edit]

Ashley was married twice. He has four daughters from his first marriage: Fran Curtis Dubin, Diane Ashley, Kim Balin and Banhi Sinclair.[3][4] His second wife was Page Cuddy.[4] He died aged 80 in New York of leukemia, after a long illness.[3][4]


  1. ^ Erens, Patricia The Jew in American Cinema ISBN 9780253204936 | ISBN 0253204933 | Publisher: Indiana University Press | Publish Date: August 1988
  2. ^ a b Fleming, Karl. "Who is Ted Ashley? Just the King of Hollywood, Baby" New York Magazine, 1974. https://books.google.com/books?id=iOkCAAAAMBAJ&q=ted+ashley#v=snippet&q=ted%20ashley&f=false
  3. ^ a b New York Times: "Ted Ashley, 80, Former Head of Warner Brothers" By ALAN FEUER August 26, 2002
  4. ^ a b c Los Angeles Times: "Ted Ashley, 80; Talent Agent Also Ran Warner Bros. Studio" by Myrna Oliver August 26, 2002

External links[edit]