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Ava Ostern Fries, the producer and creator behind cult classic Troop Beverly Hills, has died. She was 87.
Fries died Oct. 2, her rep announced. Further details of her death were not immediately available.
The writer and producer was most recognized for her work on the 1989 adventure comedy Troop Beverly Hills. The film, starring Shelley Long and Tori Spelling, portrays a wealthy housewife who decides to lead her daughter’s wilderness group. The movie was based on Fries’ experience running her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. The feature later became a cult classic for its message, fashion and dance numbers. Fries served as a producer on the film.
Fries created a production company, Avanti Enterprises, and produced the 1987 television series Born Famous. The show highlighted the lives of children born into wealthy or celebrity families.
She was also a philanthropist who worked to help children gain access to the theater and theater education programs. Fries served on the board of directors for Los Angeles’ Center Theater Group for over two decades. Additionally, Fries was president of the Center Theatre Group Affiliates and a founding co-chair of the American Film Institute Associates and The International Film Society. The National Organization of Women honored her for her contributions to the community and the arts.
Born in Dexter, Missouri, Fries studied at the University of Tulsa and earned a degree in English and theatre arts. She then moved to Los Angeles to teach while also working as a television actress and learning about jobs behind the camera.
She is survived by her daughter, Diane Sherry Case, stepchildren Charles M. Fries, Suzanne Fries-Hostka, Chris Fries, Dyanne Fries, Mike Fries, Alice Fries, and Jon Fries, 22 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Her husband, Charles W. Fries, was a veteran television producer and executive who died in April at age 92.
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