Based on my dentist in Atlanta, Ted Bell actually began life briefly as a dentist named Mark Barkencroft. He continued on to Miami with me as a rather secondary undeveloped character, becoming a sports reporter. In Miami, in fact, Mark Barkencroft was featured as part of a panel on a Sunday night television sports show, mostly talking about Dolphin football. It wasn’t until LA that Mark Barkencroft, dentist and sports reporter, became in a flash Ted Bell, Steakhouse owner. It was really just an instantaneous inspiration. That’s how it happens. Ted‘s entire story came into my mind when I got to LA, the name, the Steakhouse, Beverly Hills. His arrogant, outsized personality. Ted is a combination of influences. But he’s mostly an homage to the old school, Hollywood, red leather, steak flambé, TV-over-the-bar restaurant, replete with condescension, promiscuity, illegal gambling, pilfering valets and a cocktail lounge with movie stars and gangster.
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