RIP William Frye
Los Angeles Times
November 9, 2017
William Frye, a wellknown Hollywood producer whose career spanned radio, movies and television has died at age 96. Frye died Friday morning November 3rd in his Palm Desert home of natural causes. Frye was born in Salinas California on October 5, 1921 to parents- Harry R. and Bernice Frye. Frye spent most of his youth being doted on by his maternal grandparents, the Thompson's who were successful lettuce and artichoke farmers. In World War II Frye served in the Merchant Marines. Upon returning to the states after his service, Frye knew he had a decision to make. He could either stay in Salinas and have a career in the family farming business or go to Hollywood and see if he could make it there on his own. With his grandmother's blessing, Frye headed to Hollywood. Frye's success in Hollywood started when he had the opportunity to become Cary Grant's agent at the age of 27. Mr. Grant suggested Frye change his age to 30 to be more credible in this highly image conscious business. Along with Mr. Grant, Frye forged a lifelong relationship with Ronald Coleman and he credits both of these gentlemen for helping him become a Producer. Frye's interest in producing lead him to sign with Lew Wasserman and his studio Music Corporation of America (MCA). Under his long-term contract with Wasserman's studio and then later at Universal Studios, Frye enjoyed an illustrious career producing TV series - the Thriller series with Boris Karloff being the most well known, and GE Theater with Ronald Reagan and such well known movies as the 1966 comedy The Trouble with Angels starring Rosiland Russell, and even a special T.V. documentary on Princess Grace called A Look At Monaco in 1963. In the 1950's and 60's when television was eclipsing movies, Frye hired many famous movie stars to work in his movies and on T.V. Series. These productions lead him to become close friends with many that he worked with including his closest friends the Ronald Coleman's, the Boris Karloff's, Greta Garbo, the Reagans, Irene Dunn, Olivia DeHaviland, Cary Grant, Loretta Young, Rosalind Russell,the Bob Hopes and the Jimmy Stewart's. Frye credited much of his success to his longtime partner James Wharton. Frye who was known as much for his big personality as for his meticulous producing success in Hollywood¿use to say he missed the 'Golden Age of Hollywood', but he knew all of the actors. He retired to Palm Desert, California in 1990 and lived at Ironwood Country Club writing many articles about Hollywood for Vanity Fair Magazine.
Born: 10/5/1921, Salinas, California, U.S.A.
Died: 11/3/2017, Palm Desert, California, U.S.A.
William Frye’s westerns – executive producer:
The Deputy (TV) – 1959-1961
The Slowest Gun in the West (TV) - 1960