Obituary: Georg J. Fenady (1930-2008)

June 3, 2008

It’s been a terrible couple of weeks for early television-related deaths: Sydney Pollack, Dick Martin and Harvey Korman, theme music composer extraordinaire Earle Hagen, and the incredible Star Trek trio of Joseph Pevney (director), Robert H. Justman (producer), and Alexander Courage (composer).  In the wake of all that, it’s possible that the news this week of another TV director’s death might be overlooked.  Georg J. Fenady, a reliable action specialist whose work dates from the mid-sixties through the late nineties, died in Los Angeles on May 29.

Fenady was the younger brother of Andrew J. Fenady, the screenwriter/director/entrepreneur who created The Rebel while barely thirty years old.  Georg (who at that time spelled his name “George”) worked on that series as a casting consultant, and then served as an assistant director and eventually associate producer on Combat.  He made his directing debut on Combat in 1965 and continued to work almost exclusively in the same vein of hard, muscular, male-centric adventure series.  (Which was fortunate, because within a decade that would seem to be the only kind of hour-long show one could find on American television.) 

Fenady enjoyed long stints of a half-dozen or more episodes on Garrison’s Gorillas, Emergency, Quincy M.E., Knight Rider, Jake and the Fatman, the 1980s revival of Dragnet, and finally Baywatch.  He directed a pair of horror movies, Terror in the Wax Museum and Arnold, both in 1973.

10 Responses to “Obituary: Georg J. Fenady (1930-2008)”

  1. Robert Ray Says:

    It is nice to see a site that acknowledges the memory of a person who worked so hard and gave us so many memories.

    I was (and remain) a good friend of Georg, and he will be missed.

  2. As a long-time fan of Georg and his brother Andrew, I would just like to say how sad I was to hear of Georg’s passing. We simply don’t have enough people in television or the movies these days of their calibre – men who are more interested in producing genuine, first-rate entertainment than chasing ratings. Georg, you will be missed.

  3. Tony Mazzurco Says:

    I don’t suppose anyone is around that remember me, but,
    for sure I remember the Fanoudas Family. When I was a
    kid I was a reqular customer of the ole Mary’s Tavern. I remember when Georg left for the movie business. that
    was some 50 years ago.I will never forget how big John.
    helped my mom after my father died. We had a warm place in our hearts for the Fenady boys. Sorry to hear of your loss. May God bless you all. To remember old
    friends is one of God’s best condolences.

  4. I am very sorry to hear of George Fenady’s death. I dated George for a brief time. He was a senior at Woodward High School in Toledo and I was a Junior. He asked me to his high school senior prom ( 1948 ), I went. We had a very nice time. He was full of fun and easy to get along with. I am happy that he was so successful in his life. A great career, a lovely family, a happy and fulfilling life. What more could he have asked for. I extend my sympathy to his wife, children, friends and all who loved him. Sincerely Margaret Harding Davis

  5. Ron Harris Says:

    I didn’t know Mr. Fenady personally but I was a big fan of his work. I recently finished watching the entire Combat series and some interviews with Mr. Fenady and was very impressed with his work. Rest in Peace Mr. Fenady and thank you for all you did in the entertainment industry.

  6. […] Train). May 27: Sydney Pollack, A-list episodic director of the early 60s (Ben Casey). May 29: Georg J. Fenady, first AD turned action specialist (Combat, Emergency). Jul 3: Dave Powers, multiple Emmy winner […]

  7. Gerd Rein Says:

    W”ell I worked with George on several Combat series and I felt that he was a real human being as was Vic Morrow and I miss him very much. If Hollywood had more George Fenady´s it would be better off.

  8. Gina Says:

    I’m very sorry to hear of his passing. I used to date his son John Fenady. My sympathies go out to the family. John if you are somewhere reading this, you may get in contact with me via my facebook here or my myspace pages at ~ If you message me I would like to speak with you : )

  9. Robert Vaughn Herndon Says:

    I wasn’t even born when the Fenady’s were at their peak. I belonged to the same health club. Georg used to give me the business all of the time! But He was great ( and no i still can’t play basketball) I had to leave La to take care of my mom who recently died. To think that time would stop for me is arrogant. Mqan the stories! But it was his older guy influence that used to stop and make me think.
    I am so sorry for the family’s loss.
    Robert Vaughn Herndon

  10. Bruce Crone Says:

    I worked with Georg as the Art Director on the Quincy episodes. He was a very humorous man and always treated the crew with respect. I remember all the scouting trips in the van with the crew traveling around L.A., if he saw a homeless person on the street corner he would ask the driver to stop and he would give them a 20 dollar bill. The funnest thing he would do would cut his cigar in half and smoke it in his pipe. RIP my friend Georg

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