Bud Friedgen, producer and director of “That’s Entertainment III,” died June 24 at the Motion Picture Hospital in Woodland Hills, Calif., after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.
Friedgen began in the entertainment industry as an apprentice film editor on the series “Gunsmoke.” In 1958 he joined David L. Wolper’s newly launched Wolper Prods., where he edited numerous theatrical and television productions including two episodes of “Time-Life Specials: The March of Time,” “Destination Safety,” “Men From Boys: The First Eight Weeks,” an episode of “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau” and several “National Geographic” specials.
Friedgen then joined the team at the MGM documentary division, where he was producer and editor of “Hollywood: The Dream Factory.”
When “That’s Entertainment” was planned to celebrate MGM’s 50th anniversary, Friedgen edited the vast amounts of footage from MGM’s golden-era musicals into what became a much-loved documentary, followed by “That’s Entertainment II” two years later. He was awarded the American Cinema Editors’ Eddie Award for his work on the first film and picked up a nomination for the second.
Friedgen knew there was still more footage to be mined from the MGM vault, however, and convinced the studio’s executives to make 1994’s “That’s Entertainment III,” on which he was not only editor but producer, director and screenwriter. He drew another Eddie nom for his efforts.
Among Friedgen’s many other credits were the documentaries “Hooray for Hollywood,” “Let the Good Times Roll,” “Imagine: John Lennon” and “That’s Dancing”; miniseries “This Is Elvis” and “The Blue and the Gray,” the latter of which earned him another Eddie; feature “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh”; and 10-hour 1995 documentary series “The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” on which he was an editor, producer, director and writer.
Lloyd “Bud” Friedgen was born in California to a family that had worked in motion pictures since the silent era. He was the son of Elva Fraser, who worked in post-production. He was honorably discharged from the Navy Reserve and was a member of ACE, the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America.
Friedgen is survived by two daughters and a son; a grandson he legally adopted as his son; a brother; and two sisters.
A memorial service will be held at Village Church, 3216 W. Victory Blvd, Burbank on Friday, June 29, at noon.
Donations may be sent to the Motion Picture and Television Fund attention: Palliative Care.