Ted was best known for his
presentations of classic film festivals, seminars and movie series
events at colleges, theatres and arts centers throughout the
He was named a Distinguished Alumni of MSUM in 1998 for his
contributions to students and film studies.
He was born in Glyndon, Minnesota
and graduated from MSUM (then called "Moorhead State University") in 1962 with Speech/Theatre and English degrees.
He also earned a master's degree in Speech & Drama from the University of
Kansas. He taught at Benjamin Franklin Junior High School in Fargo,
North Dakota for six years before joining the Speech & Theatre Arts
faculty at MSUM, where he taught for 32 years. He directed MSUM's
International Film Festival and Summer Cinema film
series for more than 20 years. He also administered the Colleen
Moore Film Scholarship program at the university.
Mr. Larson (or "TL" as many of his students affectionately called him)
inspired many students to pursue careers in filmmaking and film
studies/education. Among them: Dr. Brad Chisholm (Prof.
of Film Studies at St. Cloud State University); Dr. Gregory Carlson
(Director of Film Studies at Concordia College); Jay Johnson (who
worked for David Letterman productions); Jule Selbo (who worked with George Lucas on
the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and the TV series Life
Goes On); and Andy Zilch (chosen to
work at Warner Bros. studios for Steven Spielberg's production of A.I.
Ted was a
long-time member of the
Fargo Theatre's board of directors. He was one of the
initiators and co-producers of Silent Movie Night, which began in
1974. He was responsible for bringing silent film legends Lillian
Gish and Colleen Moore to the Fargo Theatre for special tributes and film
Fargo Film Festival
established an award in Ted's honor. The Ted M. Larson Award is
given to an individual whose commitment to cinema demonstrates
outstanding, longtime contributions to one or more of the following areas:
film education, film production, film culture, and film criticism and
Through his work in
locating, restoring and reconstructing lost and rare films, he made
donations of valuable motion pictures to The Library of Congress,
The George Eastman House, The UCLA Film & Television Archive
and The Museum of Modern Art. Ted was also a friend and
colleague to many important film scholars including Leonard Maltin and British author/film documentarian Kevin Brownlow,
to whom he provided rare film footage for Brownlow's productions on "Universal Horror" and "Lon Chaney" among