American actor Ted Levine is most remembered for his outstanding portrayal of the renowned antagonist “Buffalo Bill” in the psychological horror film “The Silence of the Lambs.” Ted grew up in Illinois but was born in Ohio. Ted was raised by two doctors. He had no desire to carry on his parents’ legacy, though. He did not excel academically either. After graduating from “Marlboro College,” he pursued a career in theater since he had a passion for acting. He began performing with “Remains Theatre,” a part of Chicago’s thriving theater community. Throughout the 1980s, he worked in theaters while looking for important roles in movies and television. He began with bit parts in movies like “Love at Large” and “One More Saturday Night.” He had a big break in 1991 when he was cast as a serial killer in the movie “The Silence of the Lambs.” His performance turned iconic, and he went on to star in several movies, including “Big Game,” “Mad City,” “Bullet,” and “Shutter Island.” In addition, he had great success in television, landing parts like “Captain Leland Stottlemeyer” in the show “Monk.”
Childhood & Formative Years
Ted Levine was born in Bellaire, Ohio, on May 29, 1957, to Milton Dmitri Levine and Charlotte Virginia. Out of the five children in the family, he was the fourth. Ted’s mother is Welsh, and his father is Russian. His mother’s side is Native American and Welsh. His parents were both physicians who belonged to the organization “Physicians for Social Responsibility.” His family was devout Jews. Ted continues to identify as a “hillbilly Jew.”
Ted was a peculiar youngster. He frequently tried multiple things at once and never really settled in one area or area of interest. His academic record was poor. Additionally, he had no interest at all in becoming a doctor like his parents. His parents’ strong liberal views and sympathy for the communists caused them to clash with the government. This disagreement forced them to relocate.
When Ted was still relatively small, the family relocated to Oak Park, Illinois. Ted was raised there for the remainder of his youth. He was never really comfortable in the educational system and had always desired a different path in life.
Ted described himself as a “perpetual liar” and had a gift for storytelling. When he was a teenager, he discovered that acting was something he was interested in. But he had no idea how to pursue his interest.
After completing his education at Windsor Mountain School, he enrolled at Vermont’s Marlboro College. But in the end, he gave up on his studies because he was bored. He started acting full-time after joining neighborhood theater companies.
Initial Career of Ted Levine
He left college in part because he was already earning enough money to live comfortably as a hired actor. He relocated to Ann Arbor in the late 1970s. He and his then-girlfriend soon formed their own little theater troupe.
Up until 1980, he focused solely on his theater troupe. He relocated to New York shortly after to begin his professional acting career. But because his life was so difficult at the time, he had to take on menial tasks to make ends meet. After that, he relocated to Chicago since he was finding New York to be too costly.
Ted discovered several good acting-related jobs in Chicago. He performed public service announcements and appeared in advertisements. With the assistance of a longtime acquaintance, he joined “Remains Theatre” in 1982.
Ted performed in other plays produced by “Remains” in the ensuing years, including “The Nest at the Goodman Studio” and “Name Withheld by Request.” Ted composed music, directed a few of plays, and played an instrument as well. He also went to TV and movie auditions in the interim.
Career in Professionals
Ted debuted on screen in the television film “Through Naked Eyes” in 1983 as a “extra.” Later, he had brief appearances in the television series Two Father’s Justice and American Playhouse. He starred in a brief role in the 1986 motion picture “One More Saturday Night” before going on to star in movies like “Ironweed,” “Betrayed,” and “Next of Kin.”
He landed his first significant part in 1986 when he was chosen to play “Frank Holman” in the television series “Crime Story.” His role in the 13 episodes of the series was widely praised for his outstanding performance.
When he was chosen to play “Buffalo Bill (Jame Gumb)” in the psychological thriller “The Silence of the Lambs,” in 1991, he landed a part that would define his career. His reputation as a terrifying serial killer rose to fame. Renowned actor Anthony Hopkins played “Hannibal Lecter” in the movie. It was a huge commercial and critical hit that eventually became known as a “cult classic.”
Ted had numerous opportunities in Hollywood as a result of the movie’s success. But because he had been pigeonholed as a villain, he was getting offered parts that were similar in every film. He carried on portraying the antagonist in movies like Georgia, The Paint Job, and Nowhere to Run. He had prominent parts in several TV movies in the early 1990s, including “Murder in High Places,” “Death Train,” “The Last Outlaw,” and “Wiseguy.”
He co-starred with Hollywood icon Al Pacino in the 1995 movie “Heat.” In the movie, he portrayed a member of Pacino’s team. He was able to let go of the “bad guy” persona following his performance in the movie, which garnered him enormous critical praise. He made his voice acting debut in “Superman: The Animated Series” in 1997. In the movie, he provided the voices of “Karkull” and “Sinestro.”
He began to receive offers for supporting parts in high-profile movies during the late 1990s, including “Mad City” and “Wild Wild West.” In the television series “Monk,” he also played “Captain Leland Stottlemeyer,” for which he was commended.
He kept appearing in supporting parts in highly regarded movies in the 2000s, including “American Gangster,” “The Truth About Charlie,” “Ali,” and “Memoirs of a Geisha.” He was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award for “Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture” in 2008 together with the complete cast of “American Gangster.”
Ted was a recurrent character on the television show “Luck” in 2012. He played “Lt. Hank Wade” in the television series “The Bridge” the next year.
Ted has recently been seen in movies including “A Single Shot,” “Dig Two Graves,” “Little Boy,” and “Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom,” in supporting and character roles. Ted won the “Best Actor” prize at the 2015 Beaufort International Feature Festival for his critically acclaimed feature “Dig Two Graves.”
Individual Life of Ted Levine
Ted Levine and Kim Phillips are wed. They are the parents of Mac and Melissa.
Ted enjoys making movies, but he does not particularly enjoy living in Los Angeles.
Net worth of Ted Levine
The estimated net worth of Ted Levine is about $1 million.