Friesen, who was the president of A&M Records and A&M Films, passed away at his home in Brentwood, Los Angeles on Thursday (13Dec12) following a battle with leukaemia.
After beginning his career at Capitol Records, Friesen became the first general manager of A&M Records, a small privately owned music label, and he helped launch the careers of artists including Cat Stevens, Joe Cocker, Janet Jackson, Sting, Bryan Adams and Amy Grant.
Friesen was named president of the company in 1977 and he went on to expand into the movie business by launching independent film company A&M Films in 1981.
The company went on to make a number of hit movies including cult classic The Breakfast Club, Paul Newman’s Blaze and The Mighty Quinn with Denzel Washington.
Friesen also co-founded the Classic Sports Cable Network, which was sold to ESPN in 1997.