Andrew J. Fenady                Inducted 1986 - Class of 1946

The biographical material prepared by his firm, A. J. Fenady Associates, twice refers to him as Andrew J. ("Don't forget the 'J' ") Fenady, and describes him in this manner:

"Restless, noisy, decisive, he is a darting hulk of a man who often gets his way, can elbow into a honky-tonk or silently disappear from a cocktail party ... on the hot, desert locations that have become his stomping grounds as one of the foremost exponents of the western, he prowls the site bare to the waist, a campaign hat shielding his already dark features, looking like a Marine Corps DI one jump ahead of a Congressional investigation."

With the "J" scrupulously in place, since Mr. Fenady is obviously not one to trifle with, it is time to go on to say that this 1946 Woodward High School graduate is a leading American producer of movies and television shows as well as a writer of scripts and novels .

 

After Woodward, Mr. Fenady went on to the University of Toledo, where he received a degree in economics but stayed in school an extra 18 months taking drama, speech, and literature courses. While still in Toledo, he produced and acted in local radio shows when he wasn't tending bar at his father's tavern. Having decided upon a career, Mr. Fenady went into stock in Plymouth, Mass., and Stamford, Conn., and toured with a National Classic Theatre Shakespearean company. Once in Hollywood, he turned away from performing and toward writing and producing. One of his early productions was the controversial television series, "Confidential File."

"That was my real training ground," Mr. Fenady has said. "We dealt with people on all levels, in all places - - bars, alleys, hospitals, police stations, jails, schools, and sanitariums. It was like turning out a Master's thesis every week."

Three years, 150 "Confidential File" shows, and three Emmys later, Mr. Fenady and the show's director tackled a feature film on a borrowed $150,000. This was "Stake Out on Dope Street," the first of its genre, and the young filmmakers sold it to Warner Bros. for $150,000.

The films and television shows that Mr. Fenady created, wrote and produced, or wrote and produced, or merely produced are far too numerous to list here. Their titles are familiar to movie and television viewers. and their casts included many of the big names in Hollywood. More recently, in preparation for the current television season, Mr. Fenady was involved in developing projects for his company, A. J. Fenady Associates, in partnership with 20th Century-Fox.

Mr. Fenady's first novel, "The Man with Bogart's Face", a private-eye story, received critical praise when it was published in 1978, and his script for the film based on the novel received an Edgar nomination from the Mystery Writers of America for the best screenplay of 1982. His other novels, all published in hardcover, are "The Secret of Sam Marlow," "Claws of the Eagle:' and "The Summer of Jack London."

In its review of "The Summer of Jack London," Variety said that "the Fenady style is straightforward  unembellished storytelling, with the story as straightforward and unembellished as the style. "They don't write 'em like that much any more."

In private life, Mr. Fenady is married to the former Mary Frances Dolan, his classmate and sweetheart from University of Toledo days. They have six children and live in a roomy English Tudor house in West Hollywood which has been described as looking "like a set from a Hitchcock picture."

©2020 Woodward Alumni Hall of Fame

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