Ted Ashley was born in Brooklyn in 1922 as Theodore Assofsky. At the age of 20 he started out as a William Morris agent (He changed his name at that time). In 1951 he started his own talent agency, Ashley-Famous, which was acquired by Kinney National Company in 1967.
In 1969, Ashley suggested Kinney head Steve Ross to acquire the cash-stripped film company Warner Bros.-Seven Arts. Ted Ashley became CEO of the movie studio until 1981. He then became vice chairman of Warner Communications until his retirement in 1988.
Ted Ashley died in August 2002 aged 80 of leukemia after a long illness.