In Praise Of Ted Raimi, The Other Raimi

First, a confession: This article's headline is a little inaccurate. We're actually going to talk about the two other Raimis who've led fruitful careers in showbiz, in addition to director Sam Raimi.

The first of them, Ivan Raimi, is a physician who co-wrote "Darkman," "Army of Darkness," "Spider-Man 3," and "Drag Me to Hell," all of which were directed by his brother Sam. Ivan and Sam Raimi also co-created the action-adventure series "Spy Game" and helped develop the TV show "Ash vs. Evil Dead," on top of penning a trio of episodes for the horror anthology series "50 States of Fright." Ivan Raimi's body of work is a bit limited (dammit Jim, he's a doctor, not a full-time writer), but it's nothing to sneeze at, either. Clearly, he shares Sam Raimi's fondness for superheroes and combining gross-out horror with slapstick comedy.

But on the opposite side of the camera, there's Ted Raimi. If you've somehow never heard of him up until now, well, that's quite understandable. He's never been a household name like Sam Raimi, and I say this as someone who's always tickled when Ted shows up in Sam's work. (Ted Raimi seems fairly self-effacing, too, so I'd like to imagine he wouldn't take offense at that.) Indeed, if you've ever watched a project Sam Raimi was heavily involved in making, odds are you've seen Ted Raimi at some point. And even if you haven't, there's still a decent chance he's shown up in one or many films and TV series you have watched.

Joxer the Mighty, he roams through the countryside...

Ted Raimi's career as an actor dates all the way back to Sam Raimi's feature film directing debut on 1981's "The Evil Dead," in which Ted Raimi served as one of the movie's many "Fake Shemps." He would go on to play the possessed version of Henrietta in "Evil Dead II" and tackle multiple roles in "Army of Darkness," including the grumbling voices of the reanimated skeletons that make up the titular army. Decades later, Ted Raimi would return to the "Evil Dead" universe for "Ash vs. Evil Dead," portraying Ash's party-loving buddy from high school, Chet Kaminski.

Clearly, like his siblings, Ted Raimi doesn't take himself too seriously and is more than willing to be the butt of the joke on screen. It very much shows in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy, where Ted Raimi plays Hoffman, a Daily Bugle employee and the frequent target of J. Jonah Jameson's wrath. For related reasons, it's fun whenever he pops up out of the blue in one of Sam Raimi's non-"Evil Dead" or "Spider-Man" movies, be they ones he directed ("Drag Me to Hell," "Oz the Great and Powerful") or produced (2004's "The Grudge").

Of course, if Ted Raimi has a definitive role when it comes to Sam Raimi's projects, it's got to be Joxer. The black sheep in a family of fierce warlords, the self-professed Joxer the Mighty is as dorky as characters come on the series "Xena: Warrior Princess" (and yes, he has his own ballad, which spawned from the original "Joxer the Mighty" song written by Ted Raimi). Like the rest of the main "Xena" cast, Ted Raimi firmly understood the assignment and embraced the silliness of his character whole-hog while still finding the heart beneath his comical exterior. He also reprised Joxer on "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and even played a fictional version of one of the series' writers, Alex Kurtzman, in a highly meta episode.

Ted Raimi's non-Sam Raimi projects

For as often as Sam and Ted Raimi have collaborated, the latter has spent much of his career working on outside projects. Most notably, he starred on "SeaQuest DSV" as the communications and language expert Lt. j.g. Timothy O'Neill, a role he played across all three seasons of the show (even after it was renamed "SeaQuest 2032" post-time-jump in season 3). Ted Raimi has also done voice-acting work on the animated show "Code Monkeys" and the stop-motion series "Buddy Thunderstruck," and he turned up in one-off episodes of "Supernatural" and "Creepshow."

If anything, Ted Raimi's career only gets wilder when you look at all the other famous movies and series he's acted in. That list includes 1980s and '90s TV hits ranging from "ALF" to "Twin Peaks" and "Baywatch," as well as the '90s horror classic "Candyman" and the two Harrison Ford-led Jack Ryan films, "Patriot Games" and "Clear and Present Danger." I would say it's odd Raimi didn't play the same role in those movies, but that's more or less on brand for him when you think about it.

From playing affable oddballs to penning his characters' own theme songs and even trying his hand at making short films and writing for TV every so often, Ted Raimi has quietly achieved a whole lot over the course of his career, both with and without Sam Raimi by his side. With the latter at the helm, one only hopes Ted Raimi makes a cameo in "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." He could even get extra-weird and play himself from an alternate reality or something along those lines. It's called the "Multiverse of Madness," after all, so surely there's another Ted Raimi out there somewhere.