Ted Demme (Edward Kern Demme)

Ted Demme

Demme was born in New York City, the son of Gail (Kern) and Frederick Rogers Demme. He grew up in Rockville Centre on Long Island, New York and attended South Side Senior High School. He graduated from SUNY-Cortland in 1985. His media career likely began with a radio show at WSUC-FM (SUNY-Cortland) in Cortland, New York,[citation needed] the show was a mix of comedy and talk radio with the usual sidekick, as well as some music and was widely listened to on and off campus. Demme was the nephew of film producer and director Jonathan Demme. His career had modest beginnings—starting as a production assistant at MTV, he later became a producer in the On-Air Promotions Department and created the cable network’s seminal hip-hop show Yo! MTV Raps and directed other projects for them, including the infamous black-and-white rants starring then-unknown chain-smoking comedian Denis Leary. Over the course of his career, he established a group of actors that he chose to work with on more than one occasion. The most frequently used of these was Denis Leary, who he directed as a lead or star in No Cure for Cancer, The Ref, Denis Leary: Lock ‘n Load, and Monument Ave. Leary also produced the 2001 crime drama film Blow which starred Johnny Depp as George Jung and was directed by Demme. Demme was married to Amanda Scheer, with whom he had two children. Scheer later opened several popular Los Angeles bars, including Teddy’s at the Roosevelt Hotel, named in honor of her late husband. On Sunday, January 13, 2002, while playing a game of basketball, Demme collapsed and died of a heart attack which may have been related to cocaine later found in his system during an autopsy. He was cremated, and his ashes were given to his family.

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  • October, 26, 1963
  • USA
  • New York, New York


  • January, 13, 2002
  • USA
  • Santa Monica, California

Cause of Death

  • heart attack


  • Cremated

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