The Nicest Man We Ever Knew
May 8, 1924 - 2-14-2001

- A few memories of Charlie -
Angela Fox Dun:
 

Charles FitzSimons was my mentor for more than a decade, and my dear friend, my rock, and my comforter. Charlie knew everything about everything.  Law, of course, because he was trained in Ireland as a barrister.  But he knew medicine, politics, economics, history, literature, and show business inside and out.  I consulted him on every assignment (I'm a celebrity interviewer) and he had valuable input on every star.  He gave me "ice breaker" anecdotes, which always worked; the celebrity would warm to me immediately, and always send his or her regards to Charlie. They don't come like him anymore.

Charlie, who was acting as his sister's manager, set up my first interview with Maureen O'Hara in Ireland.  It never would have happened without Charlie. Maureen was in her Irish summer home when Charlie endorsed my visit in 1989.  Maureen and I were able to celebrate our August birthdays together that year (she's the 17th and I'm the 15th), and we've been friends ever since. We cried together at Charlie's funeral.

Charlie has been an actor and a producer, and was the executive director of the Producers Guild of America. He was profiled in their trade magazine.  He was a handsome man with a wonderful sense of humor, perfect diction, and a belief in the Almighty.  Whenever I was saved from an illness, an operation, or a financial setback, Charlie would say, in his slight Irish accent, "Thank the Man Upstairs.  He's looking out for you!" God bless Charlie, I will do that.


I first met Charles FitzSimons on October 30, 1993 at his office at the Producers Guild of America in Beverly Hills..  I was so nervous because I had only done one other interview and now, here I was, interviewing Maureen O'Hara's brother.

I needn't have worried. Charlie immediately put me at ease as he shared information about "The Quiet Man" - John Wayne, his sister, Maureen O'Hara, and the movie he produced starring Maureen, "The Deadly Companions."  From that moment on - up until only days before he died, he was always there for me and my never ending questions and ready to render sound advice.  In many phone calls I continued to marvel at the brilliance of this man.  Talking to Charlie was always a learning experience. His sense of humor was delightful.  I loved that crisp voice with just a hint of a Irish brogue.  In fact, the pitch of his speaking voice was so clear that I asked him,, "Charlie...you must be a singer because I had always noted that singers frequently had  rather melodious speaking  voices."  He admitted that he was indeed a singer...and Irish tenor at that.  Maureen told me he was a  Helden tenor.  And it just goes on and on.  He was a writer, a producer, and knew more about the movie industry than anyone I've ever known.  More importantly he was a kind man, a good man, and a compassionate caring human being.  He preferred to stay out of the lime light and with all his talents he was definitely an unsung hero.  Few people realize that he not only produced the TV series "Batman" with Adam West, but also "Nanny and the Professor" (among many others.)  Charles FitzSimons had an incredible background, both academically and in the entertainment business. Please check out his biography on this site.   I also have a great interview with Charles from back in 1993.

Above all Charlie loved his family.  He was so proud of his children. They were obviously so much a part of him.  I loved his  marvelous sense of humor.  I often mused to think what fun it would have been to have met him years ago and been his friend; listened to stories and laughed with him.  Of all the marvelous things that have happened to me in the last ten years, meeting and knowing this human being has enriched my life.  I will remember him always...and what greater legacy than to be remembered with a smile and fond memory.

June Parker Beck 2/13/02



From John Crump:

I met Charles FitzSimons two years ago while doing some documentary research on a former colleague of his.  We had only communicated once by telephone and once by letter, when he graciously offered to see me for a
meeting at a restaurant near his office.  I was immediately impressed with his warmth, and the personal interest and
care he put into his statements and his actions.  I could only assume these were the attributes he had internalized and employed over decades of working in the highly-collaborative field of making films.

Here was a man who had spent a quarter century with some of the greatest film makers taking time to talk about experiences, and willing to answer any question I would  ask.  He was truthful in his answers. Yet in his description of events, he was neither harsh nor judgmental in explaining the decisions or actions people made in determining the direction of those events.

I had only met Charles FitzSimons, much less really gotten to know him.  Yet, I feel I had seen the essence of the man, been able to glimpse some of his richness of spirit, his depth of heart.

In that, I have been blessed.

John Crump




- I Am of Irish America -

I am of Irish America
I am a child of immigrants.
I am of a people who, for over eight hundred years
have bowed a knee to no king but the King in heaven.
And bowed a head to no queen but the Queen of Heaven.

I am of a dispersed people sent
In slavery to Barbados
In chains to Australia
In famine to America

I am of a people who tore themselves from
their father's trembling arms,
Kissed their tearstained mother's face good bye
and traveled all over the world
to keep a roof over beloved heads
and food on the hungry table.

I am of an empire upon which no sun can set, for
wherever you go in this whole wide world,
Wherever a House of God has risen,
Wherever a house of learning founded,
Or a tree of a liberty planted by loving hands
and watered by the tears of an Irish exile,
There you will find the Irish Empire.

I thank God for the Blood of my Fathers.
I thank God for the Land of my birth.
I pray God will save Ireland
I pray God will continue to bless America

By:  Mary Holt Moore