BEL AIRE, CA--Fred Freiberger, a veteran film and television writer and producer, died March 2nd at his home here, at the age of 88. A familiar name in the credits of the original "Star Trek" series, MSTies know him as the screenwriter for the movie in episode 517- BEGINNING OF THE END and producer of the TV series "Space: 1999," two episodes of which were incorporated into episode K10- COSMIC PRINCESS.
Born in New York City, he began working in advertising during the late 1930s. Freiberger earned a Purple Heart during World War II when he was shot down over Germany. He spent 22 months as a prisoner of war.
After the war, Freiberger began working as a movie publicist, but soon turned to screenplay writing. With the advent of television, he wrote for dramatic anthology series such as "Zane Grey" and "Fireside Theatre" and westerns including "Have Gun, Will Travel," "Wanted: Dead or Alive," "Bonanza," "Rawhide" and "The Big Valley."
"The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms" (1953), the first movie he produced, was based on a Ray Bradbury story, and featured effects by Ray Harryhausen's. He went on to produced films including "The Weapon" (1956) and 1958's "Crash Landing." Remaining busy in television, he wrote scripts for, and served as producer of, series including "Ben Casey," "The Wild, Wild West," and "The Six Million Dollar Man."
He was the producer of the second season of "Space: 1999" and the third season of the original "Star Trek" series.
"I knew Fred for many, many years, even before 'Star Trek,'" Leonard Nimoy told STARTREK.COM. "I met Fred in the 1950s and he was a gentleman and a gentle man."
He continued to write for TV well into the 1980s, and you can spot his name in the credits for several episodes of "Starsky and Hutch," "The Dukes of Hazzard" and "Cagney and Lacey."
He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, Shirley; two children; and two grandchildren. The family has asked that any memorial donations be made to the New Israel Fund, P.O. Box 91588, Washington, DC 20090.