Noreen Fraser, Co-Founder of the Stand Up to Cancer Crusade, Dies at 63

Woody Fraser, Madeline Fraser and Noreen Fraser - Getty - H 2017
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The producer started a movement that raised millions of dollars to help combat the disease.

Noreen Fraser, a producer and one of the founders of the Stand Up to Cancer initiative that enlisted Hollywood luminaries to help raise millions of dollars to fight the disease, has died. She was 63.

Fraser died Monday at her Brentwood home in Los Angeles after a long and courageous battle with cancer, her publicist, Jennifer Styles, announced. 

She was first diagnosed in 2001 at age 46 and had been battling Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer since 2003. Survivors include her husband, veteran producer Woody Fraser, who now works on the weekday show Home & Family at the Hallmark Channel.

Noreen Fraser, a producer on such programs as Entertainment Tonight, The Richard Simmons Show and ABC’s Home Show, developed the concept for a television event that would concentrate on curing breast cancer, and she sold the idea to the cable networks Lifetime and Oxygen. Her "dream team" idea was to have competing cancer research programs work together. 

Fraser decided to expand the focus to include all cancers and enlisted the help of the late producer Laura Ziskin, former Fox and Paramount studio chief Sherry Lansing and others in the industry to take up the fight as well.

The first Stand Up to Cancer telethon, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation, aired simultaneously on ABC, NBC, CBS and in dozens of countries on Sept. 5, 2008, and raised more than $100 million. Subsequent telethons have be held in 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016.

In 2006, she launched the nonprofit Noreen Fraser Foundation to raise money and awareness for women’s cancer research. All of its assets go to UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, which has established The Noreen Fraser Fund for Women’s Cancer Research.

Fraser later created Men for Women Now, a campaign that featured comedians stressing the importance of cancer prevention and early detection.

She will be remembered in a quiet garden setting at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where "a bench in her memory will provide comfort to patients and families experiencing their own medical challenges." 

Survivors also include her children Madeline and Mack, parents Jackie and Fred and siblings Colleen, Buzz, Cooper, Laura, Lucy, Billy, Bridget and Patrick.