November 17, 1922 - October 24, 2014
Theodore Cleanthis Beniades, a consummate entertainer and man of many talents, died peacefully in his Brookville home in PA on Friday. He was 91.
A native New Yorker from the Bronx, he was the oldest son of Greek immigrants Mary and Cleanthis Beniades, who knew at the age of 10 he wanted to be an actor.
He was married to Marion Lauer, formerly of Fryburg, PA, also an accomplished actress and singer. They met on Broadway in “Wonderful Town” in 1953 and were married for 55 years. Together they made a powerful pair, performing together in other musicals such as “Fiorello” and “Pajama Game” and toured the country.
After serving in World War II, he studied acting at the prestigious Dramatic Workshop in New York with fellow students Marlon Brando, Walter Matthau, Tony Curtis, Rod Steiger and Bea Arthur.
Ted made his Broadway debut at age 29 in “Mister Roberts” with Henry Fonda. He performed in ten Broadway shows during the golden age of American musical theater, when Rodgers and Hammerstein reigned with shows such as “South Pacific,” “The King and I”, “Carousel” and ”Oklahoma.”
He is the veteran of twelve features films. He busted Al Pacino in the movie “Scarface”, got blown up in “The Next Man” with Sean Connery and served Jack Lemmon a cocktail in “The Odd Couple”.
Ted also acted in countless TV commercials and was a character actor in several TV series such as the “Jackie Gleason Show”, “Kojak”, “Eischied”, “The Andros Targets” and the original “N.Y.P.D.”
In recent years, he shared his talent by doing a voiceover for the Clarion Community Theater’s production of Agatha Christie’s play “And Then There Were None” at the Sawmill Theater in Cook Forest.
Ted had two sisters, Mary and Ann, a younger brother Danny and a son, Danny.
He is loved by 13 nieces and nephews and their children, has been living in Brookville since October 2009 and made many friends during that time. The family wish to extend their heartfelt thanks to all in the WRC community who cared for him.
Viewing will be held this Thursday, Oct 30 at 2pm-4pm and 7pm-9pm at the Faller Funeral Home, 19200 Rte 208 in Fryburg. Interment will be in the Venus Cemetery on Saturday, Nov 1 at 11.30am.
A special memorial service celebrating Ted’s life will be held on Saturday, Nov 8 at 1pm at Laurelbrooke Landing, 133 Laurelbrooke Dr, Brookville. Flowers are welcome; or memorial contributions may be sent to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinsons Research – www.michaeljfox.org