Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another Satisfied Reader: Ted Rusoff

You may be aware that Ted Rusoff -- one of the most distinctive dubbing voices (and directors) of the Golden Age of Italian Fantasy -- is the worthy subject of a career-length feature article by John Charles appearing in the current issue of VIDEO WATCHDOG (#159). As the article states, Ted's long list of dubbing roles includes some work in Mario Bava projects, including Christian Menliff (Tony Kendall) in THE WHIP AND THE BODY and John the butler (Leopoldo Mastelloni) in Dario Argento's INFERNO; he and Bava were also personal friends and colleagues for a couple of decades. Because Ted (and his uncle, Samuel Z. Arkoff) played such a major role in Bava's career, Donna and I recently made a gift of the book to him.

"I wanted you to know how o-ver-JOYED I am to have the book!" he wrote back. "Not just to have it, but the fact that it actually got here... Thank you for the lovely inscription, Tim, and it was terrific to see a quote from Uncle Sam on the back cover! Guess which chapter I'm going to start out with tomorrow?" [Ted was aware that he is mentioned prominently in a behind-the-scenes anecdote related in the chapter on DR. GOLDFOOT & THE GIRL BOMBS.]

Ted subsequently extended the Bava book his highest personal compliment by installing its 12-pound heft on a wrought-iron bookstand he had especially made years ago for his personal, much-thumbed copy of the 1934 MERRIAM-WEBSTER DICTIONARY, which -- in evidence of his merit as a word man -- he considers "the greatest book ever published." The bookstand is, indeed, a thing of beauty.

"What a lovely man Mario was!" Ted recalls, echoing the sentiments of many who knew him. "I (and I think many many other people) still miss him a lot. He deserved your magnificent accolade, Tim. Thank you both from the bottom of my heart."