[Elyse Knight, daughter of the late Ted Knight, and the plaque that will mark the Plymouth bridge dedicated to her father]
PLYMOUTH-Family, fans and friends remembered Ted Knight on Wednesday when a town bridge was dedicated in the actor's memory.
The 62yearold Emmywinning actor died of cancer at his California home in August.
His fans remembered the zany antics of Knight in the role of television anchorman Ted Baxter on the "Mary Tyler Moore Show." His daughter, Elyse, who came here for the ceremony from New York City where she is pursuing an acting career, wept as she remembered her father.
And his friends and relatives remembered Tadeus Konopka, the local youth who left the town to carve out a successful career in show business but never forgot his Plymouth roots.
Fighting back tears, Miss Knight said her father always told her about his hometown. In her brief statement she said, "We can't see him, but he knows this (ceremony) is going on."
Matilda Kovaleski, Knight's cousin, said the bridge dedication was a proud moment for his family.
"We're thrilled at what you're doing for him," she said.
The Rev. Stephen Ptaszynski, pastor of St. Casimir's Church, said he was thrilled to meet Knight when he visited Plymouth and attended Mass at the Church. St. Casimir's, which Knight attended as a youngster, is across the street from the house where the actor grew up.
Fr. Ptaszynski recalled that Knight slipped $100 into a collection envelope when church funds were low. But he said his fondest memory is of a phone call from Knight to congratulate him on his 40th year in the priesthood.
"He was a good man and a generous man," the priest said.
Monsignor Joseph Shaloka, pastor of St. Michael's Church, said he first met Knight in 1956 in New York City. He also cited his friend as a kind and generous man.
Mayor Donna Warkoski, who introduced Knight's relatives, said Knight never forgot his hometown friends and welcomed them with open arms when they visited California.
"He never outgrew his little town and was always proud of where he came from," the mayor said.
Mrs. Warkoski said that shortly after Knight's death last August, the Town Council voted to rename the Canal Street bridge in his memory. The $482,777 bridge, which was opened in September, spans the Pequabuck River south of Horseshoe Falls and is located in the area where Knight and many of his cousins grew up.
[Waterbury Republican, Thursday, April 9, 1987]