The Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors is saddened at the passing of legendary producer and one of its founding fathers, Norman Lear.
Norman and The Caucus worked to establish the “Producer-Writer” position that became an issue in Hollywood, an issue that went all the way to the Supreme Court and won. Norman will long be remembered as a ground-breaking genius, an amazing storyteller and an innovative force in television.
The Caucus mourns the passing of Herman Rush.
Herman was a valued member of The Caucus for Produces, Writers and Directors and a Board Member of The Caucus Foundation. Through Herman’s efforts The Caucus Foundation and its film student grantees received a generous donation from the Annenberg Foundation that sustained the grant program for many years. We are all grateful for his extraordinary support of future Producers, Writers and Directors.
As once noted by one of The Caucus members “Herman, has just about done it all,” former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola Telecommunications, Inc. Senior Vice President of the Entertainment Business Sector of the Coca Cola Company; Chief Executive Officer of the Columbia Picture Television Group and a member of the Board of Directors of Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. (now Sony Pictures). Past President of the Television Division of Creative Management Associates, Inc. (now International Creative Management Associates, one of the world’s second largest talent and packaging agency); Executive Vice President of the Agency and member of its Board of Directors.
He served as Executive Producer and Executive Consultant to The Montel Williams Show for seventeen years. And, Herman was an independent producer of numerous television movies and series. Herman was a remarkable entertainment producer, a masterful negotiator as an agent and an amazing contributor to the entertainment industry.
As the Co-Chairs of the Caucus of Producers, Writers & Directors and the President of the Caucus Foundation, Robert Papazian, James Hirsch and Sharon Arnett are extremely saddened to announce the passing of the legendary Chuck Fries.
Chuck was the heart and soul of the Caucus for over 45 years. His leadership and dedication kept our organization moving forward and supporting the creative talents in our industry.
Twenty years ago, he was instrumental in creating the Caucus Foundation which has now given over $2 million to help College and University students complete their work and help them begin their careers in film and television.
Chuck leaves behind a large and loving family and a legacy as the “Godfather” of the TV Movie and a creative producer and business executive responsible for hundreds of important and successful features and television programs. He has also been honored by many industry groups including the Producer’s Guild, the TV Academy, and others, but it is our personal connection to Chuck and his guidance in our work at the Caucus that stands out to all of us in the organization at this sad moment. We wish his family our most heartfelt condolences. His passing will leave an enormous void in the entertainment industry and in the Caucus and the Caucus Foundation.
His commitment to helping the next generation is evident in the mission statement of the Foundation and his family requests that any donations in his honor be made to the Caucus Foundation at https://www.caucusfoundation.org/donate.html
The Caucus and The Caucus Foundation mourn the passing of our colleague Veteran Hollywood Producer/Director/Network Executive Norman S. Powell, who passed away on June 16th at the age of 86. His career in television and film spanned six decades. He never retired, and at the time of his passing was working on a sequel to his award winning documentary, Brothers At War with partner Jake Rademacher and Executive Producers Gary Sinise and Phil Gurin, as well as writing a soon to be published memoir.
As an executive with CBS Television, Norman advanced to Senior Vice President of CBS Entertainment Productions and supervised development and production of more than 80 movies-for-television and 11 series.
Some of the awards and recognitions Norman was most proud to receive include a Telly Award for American Valor, an Emmy and Producers Guild Award nomination for “24”, a Peoples Choice Award for Rescue 911, an Emmy nomination for Washington: Behind Closed Doors, Telly Awards for Politics and Warriors and The War on Boys, an AMPIA Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Motion Picture Industry in Alberta, Canada, and a Best Picture Award from the GI Film Festival for Brothers At War.
Norman was a long-time member of the Directors Guild of America and an active member of The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors, where he served two terms as Chair. He is also the recipient of The Caucus’ Distinguished Service Award and Lifetime Achievement Award.
The March 4th Annual Awards Gala was a great success! We put on a show that made us proud with a lineup of honorees and presenters who were simply outstanding! And we exceeded our fundraising goals which will help the Foundation expand its efforts to support aspiring young filmmakers from all walks of life. Click below to take a look at the evening’s Program Book and enjoy this clip of Caucus Co-Founder Norman Lear opening the show!