Fred Prouser was on the Los Angeles photojournalism scene since 1992 — his first day as a freelancer for Reuters LA was the day of the Simi Valley verdicts that set off the Rodney King riots. He was best-known (per Variety) for covering close to 3,000 Hollywood galas and premieres from the red carpet. Prouser "became a familiar face to many celebrities on the runway, even if they didn’t know his name," Variety reports. "After finishing his last awards season in 2014, he took a leave of absence when he was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer." Prouser died today at his home in Marina del Rey. He was 63.
He had moved recently from Burbank after the death two years ago of his longtime wife, Rose, from brain cancer and his own cancer diagnosis. Reuters posted a portfolio of Fred's photos online today.
I think it's fair to call the outpouring of emotion on Facebook for Fred loving and voluminous. Many posts are from fellow journalists.
"One of the great news photographers of LA," retired AP correspondent Linda Deutsch posted. "Fred was a very special human being, a mensch in every sense of the word. After so many years of seeing each other at stories, we connected through Facebook and were finally able to have a fine meal and great conversation together in Toluca Lake before his illness overtook him. I treasure that memory." Fred was always a friendly face, welcoming, generous, with always with a tidbit of helpful information." Said New York Times photographer Monica Almeida: "His bravery, passion for the simple pleasures in life and for the loves near and dear to him are an inspiration. Thank you Fred for sharing it all with us. You will be very dearly missed."
When Prouser took disability leave from Reuters last March, Variety covered it. Excerpt:
He’s been a fixture on the red carpet and a recognizable face to the stars…,This past year has included a round of farewells to his fellow photogs, publicists and those who work in showbiz.
Prouser, whose first camera was an Instamatic his mother gave him when he was 19, was hired as a stringer by Pat Benic for UPI in Harrisburg, Pa., where he graduated college. After a stint with the Associated Press, he moved to Los Angeles in 1992 with his wife, Rose, in time to cover the Rodney King beating trial as a freelancer….
By 1998, he was on staff covering news, sports and entertainment. His first premiere, which he covered as a contract photographer, was Warners’ “Lethal Weapon 3” in 1992. “I was new. The Berliners, Alan and Alex (father and son of photo agency Berliner Studios), showed me the ropes….Variety and Reuters had a business relationship in the late ’90s, which led to the addition of photos when the newspaper launched the party page in 1997. “It just took off, and I can recall being up till 2 (a.m.), three to four times a week for a premiere, then a party,” Prouser says. Wife Rose — who died Jan. 1, 2013, of brain cancer — was his work partner, and together they would cover the red carpet. While she was processing the film rolls at the lab, he would stay late for the soirees and more photos.