British actor (1922-1979). Full name: Terrence Thackeray Tedd. Born in the southern resort village of Humping-on-Thames, his father was an elderberry farmer, and his mother took in laundry, often without the permission of people who needed their clothes washed. This was not a family that had a lot of money, and living in poverty in Humping-on-Thames was not a good way for a kid to get ahead in the world. So Terry ran away to London as soon as he got the chance. 

Once in London, Tedd learned that he had no real skills, so he turned to begging in the street and robbing from drunks. But that ended when he tried to rob the tipsy Sir Edmund Rotsaruck, noted thespian and employer of bodyguards. Rather than have his guards pummel Tedd and leave him in the gutter, Rotsaruck offered him a job in the legitimate theatre. Initially, this just meant work behind the scenes -- set building, lighting, mending costumes. In time, he ended up acting -- low-level stuff, walk-on parts, member of the chorus, etc. And before long, he was acting in full speaking roles. Sometimes supporting actor, sometimes lead, but he was acting. 

Not that this meant a lot to him at the time. This was not the Royal Academy -- Rotsaruck's theatre was very low-brow and it barely paid anything at all. And Tedd wasn't really a great actor either -- competent, yes, but Olivier had nothing to be afraid of. Still, what was cool about Rotsaruck is that he understood that his theatre didn't offer a lot of opportunities for his actors -- and that he helped them get into the much more lucrative world of motion pictures. 

Now London was not Hollywood, but there was a perfectly fine British film industry running by the '40s. Tedd scored bit parts and walk-ons in "The Courtship of the Fair Lady Hoenk," "What Say We Have a Go," "Marmalade on My Trousers," and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? Bloody Hell, It's an Irishman!" But better times were on the way -- soon, Tedd had supporting and starring roles in the best of British cinema. He played Robin Throblin in "The Deuce You Say!," Vicar Gus in "Lord Bottomley's Juicy Castle," Cyrus Dooghane in "Don't Throttle the Hog, Guvnor!," Hagfish Wensleydale in "'Ere Now, Wot's All This Then!," Eduardo Smythe in "The Queen Visits Thump-on-Hackney," Baron Vincente Mustachio in "Fine Cheeses of Wexley, Part III," and Jimmy L. Dracula in "Lick the Neck of Dracula!"

By the 1950s, most of his roles were in British horror films -- rarely as the monster, rarely as the hero, nearly always as a bystander, confidante, assistant, or victim. He played Professor Cecil Leck in "The Vanishment That Befell Father," Wallace Woffel-Weiffer in "The Castle of Viscount Von Wolfman," Sebastian Onion in "Insanitymania!," Huxley Hannerman Harrington IV in "By George! The Blood!," Dick Mogg in "The Thing in Grandmother's Cupboard" -- and he even got to play the monster in "Biscuits with Frankenstein."

Tedd knew that his best chance for true stardom was across the Atlantic in America, so he moved to Hollywood in 1960 and sent letters to the big studios, informing them of the arrival of Terry T. Tedd, world-famous star of stage and screen, the finest blossom of British culture, the man who won the hearts of the British Isles and, indeed, the world with his acclaimed performance as Dr. Roger Pigbert in "The Lion of Luton." 

No one in America had ever heard of him. 

So rather than slink back home, he decided to rebuild his acting career for the American film audience. Ironically, the best-known films he appeared in were the one from his first couple of years of acting in America -- "Inherit the Wind," "West Side Story," "The Parent Trap," "The Music Man," "That Touch of Mink" -- and he only had walk-on roles in those. Once he moved up into speaking roles, the quality and popularity of the films dove sharply. And he quickly got typecast into, again, low-budget horror. He was in dozens of movies, nearly all quickly forgotten by fickle audiences. 

Among the better-known horror films that Tedd appeared in during the '60s and '70s were "The Devil in the Mirror," "Lair of the Witch Lord," "Attack of the Beatniks," "Castle of Eternal Wickedness," "Concubine of Satan," "Mr. Blithers and the Mixed-Up Candy Store," "Suffer the Little Children," "Ssssserpentina!," "Frankenstein Rides Again!," "Attack of the Hippies," "The House with Two Doors," "Rock and Roll Werewolves," "Blood School 1971," "The Black Widow Spider Woman Strikes," "Surf's Up, Dracula!," "The Curse of Martin Van Buren's Skull," "The Haunting of the UFO," "Bloody Hell High School," "Bigfoot on Sasquatch Mountain," and "Here Comes the Face Stabber!," as well as many, many others.

Terry Tedd's last acting role came in 1979, in a badly-made and now all-but forgotten horror film called "Bag of Crushed Child." Tedd played an aging police officer uncreatively named Officer Simpson. Around the middle of the movie, Officer Simpson is killed when the monster, a plastic freezer bag filled with ketchup, hamburger meat, and a dismembered Cabbage Patch Kid doll, leaps at him and tears a great wound into him. The special effects would require a blood squib to activate when the doll was thrown at him -- and for a number of foolish reasons, the squib was much too powerful and attached wrong. The squib popped, as did a sizeable portion of Tedd's chest. 

It was neither the first nor the last death on the set of that movie -- but that's a tale for another time

LieQuest 2022