Deceased January 17, 2021

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In Memory

Fred Hertz and I both went to the High School of Music & Art in NYC, where we became close friends. We were both art students, but we also made 8mm films. Our most ambitious movie was The Treasure of Forest Hills, our version of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, filmed in the hilly woods of rural Queens. As chief editor of our high school class newspaper, Fred signed off his editorials as “Freditor.” He kept that sobriquet all his life, as his email address. 

At Amherst, we roomed together freshman year. One of the reasons we went to Amherst was that they had a freshman musical show. We got to write that show—The H is Silent. I wrote the songs, and Fred wrote the script. It was a smash hit in College Hall! Sophomore year came, and somehow our lives went in different directions. I wish I could describe Fred’s Amherst activities, but we simply lost touch. 

After college, his life is best summed up by his son Tom, a successful TV series producer: “My father excelled in many of the ‘behind the scenes’ areas of New York show business: booking folk acts, producing albums, writing songs (“Hootenanny Granny” rose to No. 14 on Billboard’s country chart). He worked with Bob Zimmerman before Bob changed his name to honor poet Dylan Thomas.” When Fred’s wife died, he moved to L.A. to be closer to his son and family. Tom told me Fred came to every “table reading” of every show and never missed a taping.

In 2002, I ran into Fred while I was jogging in Pacific Palisades Park, and we reconnected. Every time I came to California, I’d have a drink or dinner with him. In the end, we were friends once more.

Walter Marks ’55