Film-TV producer and director Frank Agrama died yesterday in Los Angeles, he was 93 years old.
Agrama was born in 1930 in El-Arish, North Sinai, Egypt. He started his career as an actor in his native Egypt in 1949. As an actor — with his own TV show — he was earning more than his father, the surgeon general of Egypt. At age 23, Frank became a medical doctor, but he left Egypt for the U.S. in 1960 to attend the University of California in Los Angeles.
In 1964 he moved to Lebanon to produce movies, and in 1967, together with his wife and two children, he relocated to Italy, where he founded Film Association of Rome, a theatrical film and distribution company.
In 1976 the Agrama family settled in California. In 1983 Agrama founded Los Angeles-based Harmony Gold, active in the production, acquisition, and distribution of international television programming. During its first year of operation Harmony Gold launched the South African Broadcasting Corp.’s miniseries Shaka Zulu.
Among the programs Agrama produced, are the Robotech animated features and the 1993 miniseries Heidi. In total, Agrama produced 16 projects between film and TV series, he directed 13 movies, and starred in three films.
Agrama leaves behind his wife of 70 years, Olfet Agrama, son Ahmed Agrama (Lena), daughter Jehan Agrama (Dwora Fried), brother Hani Agrama (Roberta), sister Amina Ramzy, grandchildren Maya, Natasha, Frankie, Anjoum Anissa, Tayo, Marli, and the Harmony Gold family and friends.
Remembering Frank Agrama
Gabriella Ballabio, who first met Frank Agrama in 1989 when she was working as a market researcher at Italy’s Mediaset, sent her recollections: “I’d like to remember what many of us, his friends and clients, loved about his personality, and the memories we will always treasure: his gentle humor, his witty intelligence, his kindness. Frank was really bigger than life.
“He was born to sell. He knew his business well and never missed a business opportunity, but he was also a loyal person who knew how to put a touch of fun in everything he did.
“I have endless memories of the stories he used to tell us of his youth in Egypt, his first years in Rome, and the times when he started to sell American films and series in Europe. I also remember some of his funny e-mails, like when he sent to a sung parody of Staying Alive to our accounts department as a reminder to make a payment that was six months overdue.”
Sheila Morris, who shared the news of Agrama’s passing, added: “On a personal note, I wanted to share that I began my career at Harmony Gold in 1985 with Frank introducing me to the world of international television. He then became a client of Morris Marketing for many years.”