Ted Rich, Film Editor and Postproduction Veteran, Dies at 88

Ted Rich - Getty - H 2018
Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic

His résumé included work on 'Get Smart,' 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show,' 'Newhart,' 'Hill Street Blues' and 'Dallas.'

Ted Rich, the longtime film editor and postproduction executive who started out on I Love Lucy and segued to other television classics like Get SmartThe Mary Tyler Moore ShowHill Street Blues and Dallas, has died. He was 88.

Rich, who received the Career Achievement Award from the American Cinema Editors two years ago, died Saturday in Los Angeles of heart failure, his son, Steven, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Rich assisted editor Bud Molin on the iconic I Love Lucy at Desilu Productions early in his career, and he went on to cut shows including I'm Dickens, He's Fenster; The Bill Dana Show; My Living Doll; The Wild, Wild West; McMillan & Wife; Get Smart; and My Favorite Martian

Because of the increasing number of series originating at MTM Enterprises, Rich was hired for the then-new role of postproduction supervisor at Grant Tinker and Mary Tyler Moore's company. There, he supervised The Mary Tyler Moore ShowHill Street BluesSt. ElsewhereRemington SteeleLou GrantWKRP in CincinnatiThe White ShadowThe Bob Newhart ShowRhodaPhyllis and Newhart.

Rich next headed postproduction at Lorimar, the home of Dallas, Knot's Landing, Falcon Crest and The Waltons. Lorimar was acquired by Warner Bros. in 1989, and he served as head of postproduction there until he retired.

In retirement, Rich started the early digital editing systems provider Creative Media Partners with his son, who now serves as a vice president at Sohonet.

Rich was born in the Philippines before his parents and their six children moved to Beverly Hills. He graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1948 and attended UCLA to study business administration.

During his days on I Love Lucy, he and Molin would be driven to Palm Springs to run dailies for the show's star and producer, Desi Arnaz.

"He was apt to say, 'Fellas, I feel like lunch. Let's go over to the club and get something to eat,'" Rich recalled in an article in the program for his ACE Career Achievement Award. "Afterward, he might say, 'I feel like a little golf.'"

They two would wait while he played, and the driver would be sent back to L.A. as Rich and Molin stuck around until Arnaz had finally gotten to watching the dailies.

In 1960, Rich became an editor on the Desilu legal sitcom Harrigan and Sonstarring Pat O'Brien and Roger Perry, when the production company was based at Selznick Studios (now Culver Studios) on Cahuenga Boulevard and at RKO on Gower Street (now part of Paramount).

In addition to his son, survivors include his daughter-in-law and two grandchildren.