Monday, February 26, 2024

Chadron Native Rubbed Shoulders with Stars

Ted Turechek grew up on a cattle ranch and went to school at Chadron High, where he graduated in 1953. One of 10 children, Ted pursued a career in law enforcement in California. Some years back, while attending a CHS reunion - we believe it was either his 50th or 60th reunion - Turechek shared a few of his experiences. One of them involved his assignment to a security detail for the filming of a CBS Television soap opera called Capitol.
There were 1,270 espisodes that aired over a five year period from 1982 to 1987. Among the stars of the series were Carolyn Jones, Richard Egan, Lana Wood, Julie Adams, and Rory Calhoun.   The Capitol story took place in the fictional suburb of Jeffersonia, near Washington, DC.  The drama focused upon families of feuding matriarchs, one of whom had spread lies about the other's father, a liberal Congressman named Judson, linking him to the communists during the McCarthy Hearings era.   Judson was portrayed by Calhoun.
In the above snapshot, Calhoun took time off from filming to say thanks to one of the officers assigned to security for the series - none other than Ted Turechek, in uniform at left.  On the other side of the dapper Calhoun is an unnamed groundskeeper at the historic Greystone Estates in a wooded area of Beverly Hills where the series was filmed. 

Interestingly, in a different era, Calhoun's relationship with law enforcement officers was not so cordial.

Born in Los Angeles, Calhoun was the son of a professional gambler.  Of Irish ancestry, he grew up in Santa Cruz, California.  When only 13, he reportedly stole a revolver and was sent to the California Youth Authority's Preston School of Industry reformatory at Ione.  He escaped while in the adjustment center at that facility.    More trouble followed as he learned to hot-wire cars.  Calhoun robbed several jewelry stores, stole a car and drove it across state lines, was captured and sentenced to three years in federal prison at Springfield, Missouri.   

After being released from prison just before his 21st birthday, he took on several jobs - ranging from a mechanic and logger to working as a miner, a cowboy, fisherman, truck driver, crane operator and firefighter.

In January 1944, at age 22, he met actor Alan Ladd, whose wife was a talent agent.  The Ladd's arranged for Calhoun to have a screen test.  After being cast in several uncredited roles, he began to appreciate the regular income and seemed to turn his life around – which was apparenty the case (except for punching a detective, which landed him back in prison for a time in 1945!)

From about 1950 on, Calhoun's professional acting career blossomed, with extended studio contracts, many leading roles, and recognition as an accomplished actor.  He was married three times – once to his first wife, and twice to his second wife.

But – wait a minute – this story isn't about Calhoun, it's about Ted Turechek!

As far as we know, Turechek never arrested Calhoun.  But Ted was involved in robot?!  We shared that Turechek story – put together by Con Marshall and the late Mike Smith – back in 2016.  You'll find it at: