Chief Executive and Producer
Chuck Fries Productions
Charles W. (Chuck) Fries serves as CEO and Executive Producer of Chuck Fries Productions. His autobiography,
Chuck Fries - Godfather of the Television Movie - A History of Television traces Fries' rise in the entertainment industry and details his role in its evolution.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Fries attended Elder High School and graduated from Ohio State University, where he also received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree.
Fries was named one of fifty outstanding Cincinnatians on the 200th anniversary of the City along with luminaries such as Ted Turner, Dr. Albert Sabin and Neil Armstrong. And he
was also one of the top 50 students of Elder High School, where he gave the commencement address on the 50th anniversary of the school. Additionally, Fries was awarded the
Frederic W. Ziv Award, established by the pioneering syndicator, for his outstanding accomplishments in television by the University of Cincinnati Electronic Media Division of the
When Fries first came to Hollywood in 1952, he joined Ziv Television where he reported to California Studios (now Raleigh Studios). Ziv produced pioneer syndicated shows
such as The Cisco Kid, Highway Patrol, and Sea Hunt, among others. In 1960, he was appointed vice-president in charge of production for Screen Gems, the Columbia
Pictures Television arm and was involved in the production of series such as Naked City, Route 66, Bewitched, Hazel, Father Knows Best and many other standout comedies
of the 60's. He subsequently became Vice President in charge of feature film production/administration for Columbia Pictures, the parent company, where he worked with top
producers and directors in the industry on theatrical films such as Castle Keep with Burt Lancaster, The Horseman with Jack Palance, Five Easy Pieces with Jack Nicholson and
Getting Straight with Elliott Gould and Candice Bergen.
In 1970, as executive vice president in charge of production for Metromedia Producers Corporation, Fries assumed the production reins and produced and/or supervised some
twenty-six movies for television, thirteen television series (including the acclaimed Jacques Cousteau Specials) and theatrical films including the "Rockumentary," Let the Good
Fries is considered the "godfather" of the television movie, having produced and / or supervised over 275 hours of television movies and mini-series. His films have garnered the Emmy,
Peabody, Humanitas and Christopher Awards among others from selected film festivals. Known for producing many issue-oriented movies for television, Fries programs include Small
Sacrifices starring Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal; The Neon Empire, a three-hour epic saga starring Ray Sharkey, Martin Landau and Gary Busey; Leona Helmsley: The Queen of
Mean starring Suzanne Pleshette and Lloyd Bridges; The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury starring Rock Hudson; Woman on the Ledge with Deidre Hall; Bitter Harvest starring
Ron Howard and Art Carney; The Word starring David Jansen and based on the book by Irving Wallace, and the Emmy nominated LBJ: The Early Years starring Randy Quaid and
Patty Lupone. He also produced the only live-action Spiderman television series and the acclaimed Demond Wilson series Baby, I'm Back.
Some of the theatrical motion pictures produced under the Fries banner include Paul Schrader's The Cat People, a Universal release starring Natassja Kinski and Malcolm
McDowell; Out of Bounds, a Fries production starring Anthony Michael Hall, released by Columbia Pictures; Thrashin' distributed by New Line Cinema Corporation; Flowers in the Attic,
a co-production with New World; Troop Beverly Hills starring Shelly Long and Craig T. Nelson for Weintraub Entertainment; and Screamers, a Sci-Fi / Action film based on a Phillip K.
Dick short story starring Peter Weller for Sony/Triumph.
Fries co-authored the book, We'll Never Be Young Again: Remembering the Last Days of John F. Kennedy, which incorporates over 100 letters from individuals relating the impact his
death had on them which include letters from Jack Valenti, Dominick Dunne, Robert McNamara and Senator John Kerry, among others. The book was then developed as a staged
reading for the Kirk Douglas Theatre. His concept for the play, "The Color of Rose," a three woman show about the life of Rose Kennedy was also presented at the Douglas
Theatre at the Emerson College Theatre in Boston in January 2011.
Fries has been, and continues to be, integrally involved in the entertainment industry at large. For 23 years he served at the American Film Institute as Vice Chair and Chair of the
Executive Committee, and on the Board of Trustees, the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. He established the Charles W. Fries Producer of the Year Award
at the Institute to encourage quality television programming. Recipients of the award include Dan Curtis, Edgar J. Scherick, Roger Gimbel, Suzanne de Passe, David
Gerber, Stan Margulies, Dorothea Petrie, and Dick Berg, among others. He also chaired the Industry Television Committee and the AFI Writers Workshop for
fourteen years from which a number of participants have emerged as stellar writers. He also spearheaded with Jon Avnet, the K-12 education program. Additionally,
The Ava and Charles Fries Foundation established the Charles W. Fries Telefeature Library at the Institute. The Library is intended to be a collection of groundbreaking,
historically significant material and includes scripts, production records and video copies of each film. He was awarded an Honorary Degree in Communication Arts by
the American Film Institute in 2006.
Fries has been the Chairman, having served for five terms, of the Steering Committee of the Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors, an Alliance of Television and
New Media Content Creators, a group with a membership of over 100 distinguished artists. At the Caucus he conceived the Annual Awards Dinner and the Annual
Entertainment Night, the proceeds from which support the organization and provide grant funds for the Caucus Foundation. He has been the Chair and / or Co-Chair
of these events since their inception over twenty-eight years ago. And because of his long term service to the organization, he has been awarded the Distinguished
Service Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Chair's Award. Furthermore, Fries was instrumental in co-founding the Caucus Foundation, where he serves
as President, which bestows Film Completion Grants on student filmmakers to create diversity behind the camera and helps place selected student in
educational and rewarding internships. The Caucus Foundation presented student film grants totaling over 1.5 million dollars in grants and in- kind awards.
Fries is currently a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, where he has served on the Board of Governors and as Treasurer and Secretary of the
Foundation. He is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where he served on the Executive Branch Membership Committee. He was
awarded a Lifetime Membership in the Producer's Guild of America, where he launched the Guild's Black Tie Awards event in 1998 creating a financial base from
which he was instrumental in formulating the Guild's Strategic Plan of Reorganization.
He is also active at the Center Theatre Group (The Ahmanson, Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas Theatres), where he served on the Board and the Executive
Committee, and as Vice President. He is Co-Chair with his wife, Ava, of the Executive Committee of the CTG Entertainment Circle and through an association with
a constituent group, Center Theatre Group Affiliates, has co-chaired a number of events including the Michael Feinstein Salon.
Fries has been awarded a special honor by ICAN: The Interagency for Child Abuse and Neglect. And along with his wife, Ava, he received honors from PATH:
People Assisting The Homeless; The Maple Center, a Beverly Hills family counseling service; and Cedars Sinai Medical Center, among others. Together they have
raised millions for worthy causes in the Los Angeles area with a particular emphasis on the arts and children.
Chuck Fries has been awarded one of the greatest honors bestowed on anyone working in Hollywood: his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is directly
opposite the famed Chinese Theatre.