Tuesday, December 5, 2017

William Frye R.I.P.

Agent and producer William Frye died on November 3 2017 at the age of 96. Mr. Frye served as a producer on such TV shows as Four Star Playhouse and Thriller, and such movies as The Trouble with Angels (1966) and Airport '77 (1977).

William Frye was born October 5 1921 in Salinas, California. During World War II he served in the Merchant Marine. Mr. Frye was only 27 when he became Cary Grant's agent. He would go onto represent such movie legends as Rosalind Russell, Ronald Colman, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Dick Powell, and Joel McCrea, among many others. Mr. Frye entered television production through Four Star Productions, representing two of the four stars of the company's name (Dick Powell and Joel McCrea). William Frye produced one episode of Four Star Playhouse as well as the entire run of Ronald Colman's short-lived comedy The Hall of  Ivy. In the Fifties he also served as the producer on the shows Johnny Staccato, General Electric Theatre, The Deputy, and the classic horror anthology Thriller. He also produced episodes of the shows Star Stage, Suspicion, Schlitz Playhouse, and Startime, as well as the Phil Silvers TV special The Slowest Gun in the West.

In the Sixties it was William Frye who discovered the book What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? by Henry Farrell and brought it to the attention of Bette Davis. He continued to produce the TV series Thriller in the early part of the decade. He produced the 1963 television documentary A Look at Monaco, which centred on Princess Grace Kelly. He produced the TV movie The Other Man (1970) and an episode of the show The Survivors.  Mr. Frye entered feature film production with 1966's The Trouble with Angels. He also produced its sequel Where Angels Go Trouble Follows! (1968).

In the Seventies William Frye produced the films Airport 1975 (1974), Airport '77 (1977), and Raise the Titanic (1980). He produced several TV movies, including The Screaming Woman (1972), She Cried Murder (1973), The Elevator (1974), and Superdome (1978), among others.

William Frye was one of our last surviving links to the Golden Age of Hollywood. Not only did he know and work with many of the legendary stars of the era, but he was also friends with a good number of them. As a television producer he worked on what may be the greatest horror anthology ever made, Thriller. He also produced many fine television movies. 

Mr. Frye retired in 1990. He often wrote about his Hollywood career in Vanity Fair.

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