Fred Fondren

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Fred Fondren (May 16, 1948 – June 8, 1992) was an American actor. He played the role of Alfred Moore, a man dying from AIDS, in the 1993 production, Joey Breaker.[1] Fred died after the movie was completed and the movie was dedicated to him.[1]

Fred Fondren was born in Alabama. Fred, also known affectionately as 'Freddie', was enrolled at Chapel Hill, working towards a double major in Psychology and Chemistry, when he attended an intensive Shakespeare Workshop at the Royal Academy in London, changing his life's course. Upon his return, he worked closely with a company of friends, doing theatre wherever they could. Eventually he became disenchanted and, while complaining to a good friend, she told him to "open your own." He and close friend Robert Stocking found a storefront on East Fifth Street in New York City's East Village...a former motorcycle shop, and they scraped "about ten feet" of dried motor oil, built a small stage (9'x12'), christening it 'Prometheus', and opened for business. He remained there for the rest of his life, producing countless shows. Most everyone assumed Fred to be British, with his crisp diction, erect posture, and manners befitting a squire—until he spoke with relatives on the phone, and within seconds the 'y'alls' fell like rain, exposing his Southern roots. Freddie was the quintessential gentleman...he was exceedingly kind and generous, genuinely gracious, and, definitively, 'ate, drank, and breathed theatre'. He was a bit of 'the last of his kind', having ridden the last waves of the off-off-Broadway movement begun in the Sixties, presenting theatre in storefronts and basements...any hole in the wall, until rents began to sky-rocket, and theatre morphed into corporate enterprises. Through all those years, Fred remained true to himself, never less than another dying breed...a true gentleman.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Hawkins, Robert (1993-09-16). "'Breaker' has a few moments". The San Diego Union-Tribune. Another talent agent introduces [Joey] to Alfred (Fred Fondren), a man dying of AIDS. The agent brings Alfred meals and a few moments' respite from the debilitating disease. Joey wrestles homophobia and AIDS phobia to the ground long enough to see the human being in Alfred's wasted body. (The movie is dedicated to Fondren, who died after it was filmed.)