Theodore Lee Zeigler (June 3, 1926 – December 12, 1999) was an American actor and comedian.

Ted Zeigler
Zeigler playing Johnny Jellybean in the 1960s
Theodore Lee Zeigler

June 3, 1926 (1926-06-03)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
DiedDecember 12, 1999 (1999-12-13) (aged 73)
Northridge, California, U.S.
  • Actor
  • comedian
Years active1962-1995

Early life edit

Born in Chicago and the last of 11 children in his family, Zeigler was the son of a union organizer who was killed by the mafia in the 1930s.[1] His sister Dodie was a Ziegfeld girl; she busily worked on stage and on radio.[2] Ted Zeigler started working as a fireman at 17, and during World War II he served in the navy and was in the Battle of Okinawa as well as the Battle of Leyte Gulf. He survived a kamikaze attack which sunk his ship.[1]

Career edit

After the war Zeigler graduated from Goodman Theater School studying to be a director and also production. At the school he became a friend of his classmate Harvey Korman; in 1954 they formed a short-lived stand-up comedy duo known as Marsh and Field.[1][2][3] Zeigler started working on television in the mid-1950s, playing Uncle Bucky for three seasons in the WGN-TV kids show Lunchtime Little Theater.[1][4]

He then worked in Australia hosting the HSV talk show House Party,[5] and in Canada, where between 1962 and 1967 he was successful being on the CFCF kids show Jellybean Comedy Clubhouse (also known as Lunchtime Little Theater and The Johnny Jellybean Show). He played the titular character Johnny Jellybean as well as a number of other roles, making extensive use of improvisation.[1][2][3][6] After the cancellation of the show he was in a duo with Peter Cullen, working mainly on CBC. In 1970 he decided to move back to the U.S. living in Los Angeles.[1]

In the 1970s Zeigler became a regular on The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and on its follow-up The Sonny & Cher Show; he also appeared on The Andy Williams Show, The Carol Burnett Show, The Hudson Brothers Razzle Dazzle Show, and The Shields and Yarnell Show among others.[1][2][3] A brain tumor and its treatment kept him out of work for several years, and in the mid-1980s he returned to work as a voice actor for animated series including Heathcliff, Galtar and the Golden Lance, and Challenge of the GoBots. He was also a personal manager for a number of performers in the entertainment industry.[1][3]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Ted Ziegler Obituary: Montreal TV comic delighted kids as Johnny Jellybean". National Post. December 20, 1999. p. 20. Retrieved January 9, 2023 – via
  2. ^ a b c d Witbeck, Charles (July 21, 1977). "Ted Zeigler now playing straight man to robots". The Morning Call. p. 56. Retrieved January 9, 2023 – via
  3. ^ a b c d Teitelbaum, Sheldon (January 1, 1988). "Johnny Jellybean to 'Consequences' : Guru of '60s Show in Canada No Longer So Off-The-Wall". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  4. ^ Hamilton, George; Hamilton, Linda (June 17, 1973). "Uncle Bucky Goes Hollywood". Chicago Tribune. pp. 49–54. Retrieved January 9, 2023 – via
  5. ^ "Viewers Can Call Up Compere on Camera". The Age. October 15, 1959. p. 25. Retrieved January 9, 2023 – via
  6. ^ Boone, Mike (May 25, 1982). "Television Legend Johnny Jellybean Back in Montreal". The Gazette. p. 49. Retrieved January 9, 2023 – via

External links edit