Ted Field

An heir to one of America's most famous fortunes--that of the descendants of Marshall Field, department store magnate of Chicago--Ted Field has moved in other directions, forming Interscope Communications and Interscope Records, and also professionally racing cars and being vocally involved with liberal causes. Interscope, which Field founded in 1979, is best recalled for its 1984 charmer and box office hit, "Revenge of the Nerds," which spawned three sequels, as well other box office hits such as "Three Men and A Baby" (1987), "Outrageous Fortune" (1987), and "Cocktail" (1988), all of which Field produced, and "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" (1989), which he executive produced. Much of Field's production work has been in tandem with Robert Cort, Interscope president since 1985. Field broke into production in 1977 with the children's series "Marlo and the Magic Movie Machine," which ran on CBS until 1981. It was not until the early 80s that he migrated west from his native Chicago, and began the career that would bring, besides the aforementioned "Revenge of the Nerds," lesser works such as "Turk 182!" (1985), with Timothy Hutton revenging his brothers, dissed by the fire department, "Collision Course" (1990), "Class Action" (1991), and, more recently, such critically-applauded works as "Mr. Holland's Opus" (1995), which starred Richard Dreyfuss as a music teacher who realizes he has made an impact, and "Roommates" (1995), with Peter Falk as a man who raises his grandson until he sure the grandson can manage on his own. In 1997, he produced "Tempting Fate," starring Kenneth Branagh. Field has also executive produced a host of other movies, among them "Bird on a Wire" (1990), starring Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn, "Arachnophobia" (1990), with Jeff Daniel fighting human-munching spiders, "Paradise" (1991), with Elijah Wood saving the marriage of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson, the scary "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" (1992), and, more recently, a host of others from the big-budget Robin Williams vehicle "Jumanji" (1995) to the kid-oriented "Kazam" (1996) to flop prep school "Boys" (1996) to the edgy "Gridlock'd" (1997). Interscope has always been distributed by majors, usually Fox of Buena Vista (Disney), although Field has maintained his independence on all creative matters. The company has also produced for TV, beginning with "American Geisha" (CBS, 1986), a TV movie starring Mariette Hartley. Field was co-executive producer of "The Father Clement Story" (NBC, 1987), with Louis Gossett, Jr. as a priest who adopts a son. In 1987, he executive produced "Murder Ordained" (CBS), a miniseries about a local minister who takes up with a female parishioner leading to the murder of their spouses. Some of Field's TV work has been frothy, such as the 1989 NBC TV movie "My Boyfriend's Back," which told the story of the reunion of a one-hit 50s girl singing group, while other Interscope projects, such as the Emmy-winning "A Mother's Courage: The Mary Thomas Story" (NBC, 1989), have been more substantive. "Revenge of the Nerd" sequels have also been produced for TV. In 1990, Field started Interscope Records, which within four was worth more than $300 million and has such artists as Dr. Dre, Snoop Doggy Dogg, and Nine Inch Nails under contract. Snoop Doggy's arrest and increasing congressional and special interest group pressure put Field on the hot seat more than once, but Interscope Records persevered. Although Field has kept a low profile about his famous Chicago family, he forced the family linen be aired in public when, in 1983, his sale of the Chicago Sun Times to Rupert Murdoch caused the dissolution of the Family company and a public feud with his half-brother, Marshall Field V.