October 4, 1928 - April 16, 2020 Andrew J. Fenady and Mary Frances, his beloved wife of sixty-three years, are together again.A.J. died peacefully at the family's longtime home on April 16, 2020 of natural causes.A.J. was born in Toledo, Ohio to John A. Fenady and Mary Fenady. He grew up with his parents and brother, Georg, in the shadow of the Maumee River. He attended Woodward High School – but also received a different type of education working at his father's twenty-four hour restaurant/saloon not far from the hard-scrabble docks in the midst of the depression.From Woodward, A.J. graduated to The University of Toledo, where he was Student Body President, and a leading man in the university's plays. It was during one of those performances when he met his real-life leading lady, Mary Frances (née Dolan). It was a romance that lasted a lifetime.After college, while Mary Frances was finishing up her degree, he was invited to join a summer stock company at the Priscilla Beach Theatre in Plymouth, Massachusetts where he met and became life-long friends with a few wannabe actors: Burt Reynolds and Dan Blocker. A.J. then toured forty-six of the forty-eight states with Clare Tree Major's National Classic Theatre.Still smelling of college, he set off for Hollywood to forge a future for himself and Mary Frances. In short order, he became a legman for Paul Coates on his controversial television series CONFIDENTIAL FILE. A.J. wasn't a legman for long – he was soon writing and producing the Emmy Award winning program.Having a toehold in tinsel-town, A.J. hightailed it to Toledo, married his college sweetheart, grabbed her by the hand, and sailed back to the 'Land of Dreams'.Three years and 150 programs later, Fenady and the show's director, Irvin Kershner set out to make a feature film: STAKEOUT ON DOPE STREET on a borrowed $21,000 – the young film makers sold it to Jack Warner for $150,000 and went under contract to the fabled studio.After several features – A.J. tried his hand at television. That first olive out of the bottle was a hit – creating, writing and producing THE REBEL starring Nick Adams.There were other TV series, Branded and Hondo – then he hopscotched back to features and Movies of the week – then came the 'Big Casino', creating, writing and producing – CHISUM starring John Wayne. Wayne and A.J. remained fast-friends until the Duke's passing.A.J. continued in the picture business nearly to the end – working with, and befriending a constellation of stars: Robert Mitchum, Ray Milland, Bob Hope, Don Ameche, Charles Bronson, Angela Lansbury, John Carradine, Elsa Lanchester, Broderick Crawford, Ernest Borgnine, Jamie Farr…Halfway along the way his son, Duke, joined him – they became partners, producing a passel of MOWs and collaborating on several plays – the two remained partners for life.A.J.'s talent stretched beyond writing and producing – he was also a successful lyricist and novelist – with over twenty novels on the shelves – and over half a dozen published plays, including YES VIRGINIA, THERE IS A SANTA CLAUS, based on his award winning Movie of the Week, starring Charles Bronson, which A.J. co-wrote and produced.A.J. was member of many professional societies - Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts & Sciences, Television Academy, WGA, Producers Guild… among the numerous awards he received was the Golden Boot, the Spur Award and the Owen Wister Award for his lifelong contributions to the field of Western literature from the Western Writers of America.As well as receiving awards – A.J. and M.F. were most generous in bestowing awards, scholarships and donations to hospitals, high schools, their alma matters and churches.As proud as he was of his professional career, A.J.'s proudest achievement was the family he created with Mary Frances. He relished the time he spent with them: coaching little league at Ahmanson Field, endless holidays and weekend get-a-ways in Lake Arrowhead, and at the family retreat in LaQuinta – and of course the holiday gatherings and Sunday football games at Rossmore.There is no doubt A.J. (puffing on a Romeo y Julieta #2) and M.F., with that twinkle in her eye, son Shannon at their side – are smiling down at their loving family. Gena Fenady Ryan, her children, Jonathon (Amanda) and grandson, Nicholas, James and Megan – Duke (Di) – Sean, his son, Jack – Andrew (Regina) and their two children, Griffin and Parker - Thomas… And A.J.'s childhood compatriots, Ted Sahadi, Richard Joseph, Phillip Baker Hall and Jamie Farr. Andrew J. Fenady, a larger-than-life man, who leaves behind a lasting legacy is with his beloved Mary Frances once again.A memorial in A.J.'s honor will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully suggest contributions to the Andrew J. & Mary Frances Fenady Scholarship Fund at the University of Toledo, St. Brendan Catholic Church or School in Los Angeles or St. Sophia Cathedral also in Los Angeles.
Published in Los Angeles Times from Apr. 23 to Apr. 27, 2020.