Funeral services were held in the Los Angeles area Thursday for Ted Demme,
the creator/producer of Yo! MTV Raps who parlayed his MTV: Music
Television success into a promising film-directing career.
Demme died Jan. 13 from natural causes, according to local medical officials,
when he collapsed after playing a celebrity basketball game for charity. He was
Demme, nephew of Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme,
launched both his TV and MTV career as a production assistant in the mid-1980s,
then shot to fortune at the music-video channel in several ways --
creating/producing/directing Yo! MTV Raps, directing other MTV series and
preparing the series of black-and-white 'rant' interstitials with comedian Denis
When Demme shifted his career to film in the early 1990s, he didn't forget
his MTV roots. Raps co-hosts Dr. Dre and Ed Lover co-starred in
Who's the Man?, while Leary starred in The Ref.
Demme also won an Emmy Award in 1999 for co-producing acclaimed Home Box
Office movie A Lesson Before Dying, and he directed the music video of
'Streets of Philadelphia,' Bruce Springsteen's Oscar-winning song from the movie
Demme's last completed film, Blow, starring Johnny Depp as drug dealer
George Jung, earned him the best reviews of his career when it was released last
Demme was committed to direct Nautica, a Caribbean murder yarn
co-starring Ewan McGregor and Heath Ledger, when he passed away.
He is survived by wife Amanda Scheer-Demme, two children, both parents and a