Ted Demme Biography

Director, Producer, Television Producer (1963–2002)
Director and producer Ted Demme created Yo! MTV Raps, and worked on the films Beautiful Girls, Life and Blow.


Ted Demme was born in New York City on October 26, 1963. In the late 1980s, he created Yo! MTV Raps. He started his film career with 1993’s Who's the Man?, and released The Ref the following year. In the late 1990s, he created the films Beautiful Girls and Life. He co-produced the TV movie A Lesson Before Dying in 1999, before working on Blow. He died on January 13, 2002, in Santa Monica, California.


Producer, director. Born October 26, 1963 in New York City. Demme, the nephew of famed Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme, began his career as a production assistant at MTV before creating the cable network's seminal hip-hop show Yo! MTV Raps in the late '80s.

Demme's film career had a somewhat shaky start when he directed MTV personalities Ed Lover and Dr. Dre in Who's the Man? One critic called the film, "nepotism at its worst." However, he answered back in 1994 with the cult comedy hit The Ref, starring slash-and-burn comic Dennis Leary as a burglar who takes hostage of a neurotic couple. He also created the romantic ensemble comedy Beautiful Girls and the prison comedy Life starring Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. In 2000, his acclaimed film Blow told the story of notorious drug trafficker George Jung and starred Johnny Depp and Penélope Cruz.

Demme turned his talents toward the small screen in 1999, and earned an Emmy for coproducing the TV-movie A Lesson Before Dying.

Demme died on January 13, 2002, after suffering a heart attack during a celebrity basketball game. He was 38.

Demme was married to Amanda Scheer-Demme. They have a daughter and a son.

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