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R.I.P. Ted Rusoff (1939-2013)

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Born in 1939 in Winnipeg City of Manitoba, Canada, Ted Rusoff wasthe son of screenwriter Lou Rusoff and nephew of AIP producer Samuel Z. Arkoff, who got him his teenaged start working as an onset production assistant for AIP and uncredited film extra where needed in the late 50s to early 60s. Being proficient in French, Italian and German as well as English, he was sent to Europe in the mid- 60s to oversee the voice dubbing for various European film exports, primarily for the English-speaking markets, where AIP held the distribution rights.

Among these features were “DR. GOLDFOOT & THE GIRLBOMBS” (1966), directed by Mario Bava, and “THE LAST MAN ON EARTH” (1964), loosely based on the Richard Matheson story I AM LEGEND, both starring Vincent Price. From there, Mr. Rusoff began an extensive career in the voice dubbing business throughout the mid to late 60s and into early 21st Century. Not only did he provide voice dubs for over 1500 features, but he also served as dubbing director for over 500 films. It is almost a certain guarantee that Mr. Rusoff’s voice can be heard somewhere on the track of most Italian, French, Spanish and German imports dubbed into English from this period of activity.  One of his most notable voice jobs was dubbing Alice Cooper in the Spanish-Italian produced MONSTER DOG (1984), directed by TROLL 2’s Claudio Fragasso. Colleagues included the late Mel Welles, Nick Alexander and Ed Mannix, also familiar voices in the industry of dubbing. Mr. Rusoff was married several years to Carolyn De Fonseca, another recognizable voice in the field, until 2009, when she sadly passed away.

TED RUSOFF also appeared in the flesh in feature films such as Joe D’Amato’s ABSURD (1981), Martin Scorsese’s THE LAST TEMPATATION OF CHRIST (1988) and Mel Gibson’s THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST portraying the Pharisee who tosses Judas his bag of gold. He also appeared in 2005 during the first season of the HBO series ROME as Strabo, a slave to Mark Anthony. Sadly, Mr. Rusoff passed away September 28, 2013 in Rome at the age of 74, after being struck down by a vehicle in August. He spent the last month of his life in a hospital.

The last time I had spoken with him was online, concerning the death of actress Karen Black, and how she had been taken by cancer and his own bout with the dreaded disease. Mr. Rusoff shared with me some fond memories of working with her. Little did I know it would be the last time I’d speak with him.

– H. Amador

H. Amador is a former DJ/Nightclub promoter from the Washington DC area, currently residing in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He is a published poet who has written film synopses for DELUDED & GET UNDERGROUND, as well as several summaries on the IMDB over the years.

About the author
Fangoria Staff
FANGORIA: The First in Fright Since 1979.
  • Ken K Lugosi

    My dark world is a little quieter now. Thanks for the well informed and heartfelt write up, Humberto. It’s good to read things like this written by a person who is genuinely fond of the man’s work and was acquainted with the late Mr. Rusoff. Rest in peace, Ted.

  • Mike Simms

    I’m with Ken. It makes a palpable difference when career retrospectives are authored by those whom are not merely familiar with the artist’s work but have been obviously touched by them on a personal level as well. Mr. Amador, you are fortunate to have personally corresponded with him, just as we are all privileged to have been afforded collective enjoyment of the prolific, eclectic, sometimes profound, often absurd, but ultimately entertaining body of work graced by his expertise. Though most of us will never approach Ted Rusoff’s level of talent, it is to be hoped that his legacy may inspire us all to approach our creative endeavors with the same panache and abandon. R.I.P.

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