‘Willing to be Lucky’ author Andy Friendly’s lifelong lessons in entertainment
Published - 11/19/17 - 11:54 AM | 2465 views | 0 0 comments | 27 27 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Andy Friendly, Pat Crowley and George Clooney on the set of ‘Good Night and Good Luck.’ / PHOTO CONTRIBUTED
Andy Friendly, Pat Crowley and George Clooney on the set of ‘Good Night and Good Luck.’ / PHOTO CONTRIBUTED
Andy Friendly has spent the majority of his life around “show business.” His father, Fred, along with close friend and business partner Ed Murrow, created the template for pre-Internet modern television programming. Friendly, who is married to Golden Globe-winning actress Pat Crowley, definitely has had his hand in much of the programming that shaped the formative years of many’s lives himself. His early introduction, and storied career of his own was the impetus for Friendly to write his memoirs, “Willing to be Lucky: Adventures in Life and Television,” from which he will be reading at DG Wills Books on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m.

Friendly grew up a “studio rat,” wandering the halls of CBS and NBC studios in New York City. This was during the ‘50s and ‘60s when the two networks dominated late-night television, namely with NBC’s “Johnny Carson Show.” While he spent most of his younger life in New York, he also saw a decent amount of time in Southern California, eventually attending USC to study television and film.

“‘Willing to be Lucky’ is definitely not a tell-all,” said Friendly of his first and “possibly only” book. “It took roughly three years to write, and it was overall an enjoyable process. The project really began when I was having lunch with some old friends. I’ve had quite an eclectic career – and reminiscing about some of the stories brought a wealth of memories flooding back. My companion asked me ‘Why don’t you write these down?’ So I did.”

After attending USC, Friendly returned to New York to start his career working with a local NBC news affiliate. His career eventually led him from the local news to producing the likes of Richard Pryor’s standup special “Here and Now,” talk show icons Tom Snyder and Tim Russert, represented Dan Rather, Paul McCartney, Oprah Winfrey, Vin Scully and many more.

“What had started out as news-driven, led to the talk shows, which were a huge source of entertainment television at that time,” said Friendly. “I also was able to have the honor of being the original producer of “Entertainment Tonight,” CNBC and King World, which represent Oprah.”

While the glitz and glamor may be appealing to a wide audience, it seems as though Friendly’s befitting surname and equal temperament provide life lessons as well. In fact, that was another reason to publish the book.

“I just turned 66-years-old,” said Friendly. “Around this age, you start attending a lot of funerals and memorials of close friends and family. I realized that I have learned some tremendous lessons during my experience in entertainment, and wish to impart that to future generations of those wanting to be involved in the business, as well as my family.”

For those interested in showbiz lore, “Willing to be Lucky: Adventures in Life and Television” offers a wealth of personal anecdotes involving some of the key players of their time. Not only does the book focus on the glitz and glamour, but also places a great deal of emphasis on what it takes to be a better individual, family member or (pun intended) friend.

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