Veteran writer dies

Fox worked for Hope and Lewis

Veteran American comedy writer Fred S. Fox, who created gags for Bob Hope, George Burns, Lucille Ball, Red Skelton, Jackie Gleason and Jerry Lewis, has died at the age of 90.

His career spanned 50 years, beginning on San Francisco radio station in 1939.   His own show, Freddie the Fox, was a huge success, but was cancelled when too many mothers complained their children were imitating his stutter.

During the War he worked for the Office of War Informationr for a year and a half, then moved to Hollywood in 1943 on the rumour comedians were looking for new writers. 

He began working immediately for Burns and Allen, Rosemary Clooney, Jack Carson, Doris Day, Bing Crosby and others.

 He joined Bob Hope's staff in 1944, worked on the Road movies with Hope and Crosby, and toured with Hope for the War Bond effort.  The working relationship with Hope spanned 40 years.

When Fox told Hope that he and his wife Mercedes were going to have twins, the comic immediately joked: “Fred not only stutters when he talks".

 As well as the  Bob Hope TV special,s Fox’s TV writing career included The Andy Griffith Show, The Lucy Show, Diff'rent Strokes, The Dick Van Dyke Show and All in the Family, which was based on Britain’s Till Death Do Us Park.

Fox ended his career writing for the two comedians who gave him his start, Bob Hope and George Burns. ‘Those two were the greatest,’ Fox once said: They didn't need writers, they were brilliant on their own.’

Fred S. Fox died in Encino, California, on October 23 from pneumonia, leaving his twins Jan and Fred Jr and granddaughter Francesca Fox.

Published: 1 Nov 2005

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