The building in which Thomas Fuchs was born, the old Cedars of Lebanon Hospital on Fountain near Vermont in Los Angeles, is now painted dark blue and serves as the West Coast headquarters for the SeaOrg division of the Church of Scientology.
Fuchs’ father, Daniel, was a screenwriter, so Fuchs grew up watching the often-agonizing process by which story ideas became finished films. It seemed to him as though the whole thing ought to be more fun than it evidently was. He was sure that he would somehow have a better time of it in his future work. As to what that might be, he had only vague notions but in high school his two favorite classes were history and a course in television production offered to high school students by USC.
After high school, Fuchs went off to the University of California, Santa Barbara. Four years later, back home with his summer job shelving books at the Beverly Hills Public Library turning into his fall employment and his mother dropping hints about getting himself a job at Bullock’s, he stumbled into a huge lucky break. He applied for a position in the Research Department at Wolper Productions at just the very moment that the department had an opening. Wolper was at that time describing itself, accurately, as “the world’s largest independent producer of documentaries.”
Within a few years, he moved on from research to the writing and producing, at Wolper and elsewhere, of documentaries and what is sometimes described as fact-based entertainment. His credits include years of staff writing for shows like You Asked For It and Ripley’s Believe It or Not, as well as multiple episodes of shows for A&E and The History Channel. As he made his way through all this, he learned that the work often was fun but that it was also fraught with turmoil and frustration, usually caused by powerful personalities with their own ideas of how things ought to be done. The work and the friendships formed (in some cases with the very same “powerful personalities”) often were and remain deeply satisfying.
Fuchs has also managed to write some fiction, essays and articles, a few short plays and a few short dramatic films. His non-fiction includes A Concise Biography of Adolf Hitler (Berkley/Putnam Penguin, 2000.) His fiction and essays have appeared in a variety of magazines (e.g. Fiction International, Rosebud, J Journal, Ashe: the Journal of Experimental Spirituality, Harrington Gay Men’s Literary Quarterly) and anthologies (e.g. The Big Book of Bizarro, Queer Fish). In his novella, Digby’s Hollywood Story (Roundfire Books), he examines the often difficult and tenuous relationship between fact and fiction.
He lives in West Hollywood and keeps an office at an independent production facility that used to be the site of Columbia Pictures. It’s not very far from the deep blue headquarters of the SeaOrg.