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Ted Neeley Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 20 September 1943Ranger, Texas, USA
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Ted Neeley was born on September 20, 1943 in Ranger, Texas, USA. He is an actor, known for Django Unchained (2012), Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) and A Perfect Couple (1979).

Spouse (1)

Leeyan Granger (1977 - ?)

Trivia (13)

He almost missed out on being cast in Jesus Christ Superstar (1973). After inviting director Norman Jewison to see him in a matinee performance of the Who's "Tommy", he was injured during a show just prior to the one Jewison had bought a ticket to see. He recovered in time for the next show; immediately following this, he drove from Los Angeles to Jewison's hotel in Palm Springs...dressed up as "Jesus Christ." (Norman was leaving for Israel soon thereafter, to shoot the movie.) Not only did Jewison accept his explanation and apology, he gave him the title role in said film.
Made his debut as a camera operator during the filming of one of the more memorable scenes in Jesus Christ Superstar (1973): that in which "Judas Iscariot" is chased down a sand dune by five tanks. (The scene, incidentally, is meant to illustrate the desperation and personal conflict which drove Judas to consult the priests about betraying Jesus.)
The tour bus seen in the opening and closing sequences of Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) was loaned to the production by Neeley and his rock band.
The "39 Lashes" scene in Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) was so realistic that his mother walked out on it. Mrs. Neeley had never laid a hand on young Ted in an anything-but-affectionate manner, and could not bear the sight of her son being tortured by anyone else...even though she knew it was "play-acted".
For Jesus Christ Superstar (1973), he did an unexpectedly thorough job of reenacting Jesus' bull-in-a-china-shop rampage through the Temple's "unclean" flea-market...so thorough indeed, that director Norman Jewison managed only two takes of this scene before running out of unbroken props. Fortunately, Jewison got everything right within the first two tries.
He met his wife on the set of "Jesus Christ Superstar"; she is one of the dancers in Simon Zealot scene
He was able to play Jesus throughout his career; in 1975, he appeared in a show with both Carl Anderson and Yvonne Elliman reprising their roles. In 1992, Neeley and Anderson appeared in the AD Tour. Originally it was supposed to last a year; instead, it went until 1997, touring for five years and grossing over 100 million dollars.
March 9, 2004 Ted sang the soliloquy Why Must I die? from the Garden of Gethsemane scene in J C Superstar at the memorial service for Carl Anderson (Judas, JCS).
Was friends with Jesus Christ Superstar co-star Carl Anderson.
(1996-) Playing Jesus in the road show of "Jesus Christ Superstar". When completed in a year or so, he will be putting on his own production, "Pandemonium".
Touring as "Jesus" with "Jesus Christ Superstar", Farewell Tour. [February 2007]
Touring U.S. with Jesus Christ Superstar (with James Delisco as Judas), a Nicholas Howey for Troikastar, LLC production. [March 2009]
Touring as Jesus (opposite Corey Glover as Judas) in the National Touring Company of Jesus Christ Superstar. [March 2008]

Personal Quotes (2)

[on filming 'Jesus Christ, Superstar'] Norman Jewison had us out there long before the shooting schedule, just so we could get acclimated to the climate, so we could get the sun on our bodies. We couldn't believe, when we saw the dailies, watching our hair become streaked from the sun, going for what we were - the Americans and Canadians who all came over there looking pristine - to becoming these desert people.
When we did the picture, it was right toward the end of the Vietnam War. Everything was going on at that time. I was in 'Hair' before 'Superstar', so for a good three to five years we were celebrating onstage what was going on in the streets around the world, all of that turmoil and tumult that was happening because of the war.

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