Frank Fouce, Spanish-Language TV Pioneer, Dies at 85

Courtesy of Paula Fouce
Frank Louis Fouce

He was co-founder, president and chairman of the group of TV stations that would become Univision.

Frank Fouce, one of the founders of what would become Univision, the first Spanish-language network of TV stations in the U.S., died Sept. 22 in Los Angeles. He was 85.

In 1961, Fouce launched Spanish International Communications Corp. with his father, Frank Fouce Sr., Televisa founder Don Emilio Azcarraga Vidaurreta and Fernando Diez Barroso.

Fouce served as president and chairman of the company, which began with KUAL-TV in San Antonio, KMEX-TV in Los Angeles and WXTV in the New York area. More stations were added over the years, and in 1986 the group was sold for $301 million to Hallmark Cards, which renamed the network Univision.

Fouce was president of KMEX-TV and later founded KRCA-TV, based in Burbank.

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Fouce also worked for 25 years as a film exhibitor and produced live vaudeville shows at his Spanish International Theaters, which included the historic Million Dollar and Mayan venues in downtown Los Angeles.

A Los Angeles native, Fouce attended Loyola University, Loyola Law School and Pepperdine and served as a paratrooper in the 11th Airborne Division stationed in Japan. He began his career in the industry as an assistant director at Hal Roach Studios, and he worked at Bing Crosby Enterprises and on the NBC anthology series Fireside Theater.

Survivors include his wife of 65 years; Betty, children Laura, Thomas, Paula, Martha and Victoria; and grandchildren Vincent, Danielle, Christian and Kathleen.

A Mass will be celebrated at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 30 at Holy Cross Cemetery & Mortuary in Culver City. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Fouce’s name to The Julian T. Fouce Music Therapy Fund at The Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.