Charles “Chuck” Fries, the longtime film and TV producer who helped introduce the TV movie concept and shepherded films including “Cat People,” died April 22. He was 92.
Over his six decade-plus career, he participated in the production of more than 5,000 episodes of television, 140 television movies and mini-series and more than 40 theatrical films.
Fries oversaw feature film production for Columbia Pictures, which produced films during his time at the studio including “Five Easy Pieces,” “Easy Rider,” “Getting Straight,” “The Horseman” and “Castle Keep.”
He pioneered the television movie while at Metromedia Productions in the 1970s, then launched his own company, Fries Entertainment. Fries Entertainment produced issue-oriented movies like “The Neon Empire,” “Small Sacrifices” and “The Martian Chronicles.”
He was a producer on theatrical films including “Cat People,” “Out of Bounds,” “Troop Beverly Hills,” based on his wife Ava’s experience, and the original Spider-Man series for foreign markets.
He is survived by his wife, Ava, seven children: Charles M. Fries (Jonna), Suzanne Fries-Hostka, Chris Fries (Heather), Dyanne Fries, Mike Fries (Michelle), Alice Fries, and Jon Fries (Lena), as well as step-daughter Diane Sherry Case. He is also survived by 22 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Donations may be made to the Caucus Foundation (caucusfoundation.org) which is dedicated to expanding diversity in the entertainment industry with scholarship support, financial grants and mentoring for the next generation of producers, writers and directors.
more to come…