Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Stratton Leopold presents at Norman Fries Distinguished Lecture Series

The public is invited to a free presentation by Savannah's Stratton Leopold, who is not only the owner of Leopold’s Ice Cream but also a film executive. He will present “A Career in Two Industries: Growing up in ice cream and evolving into film” on Monday, April 22, at the Georgia Southern University Performing Arts Center.

Savannah's Stratton Leopold, owner of Leopold's Ice Cream and film executive, is presenting 'A Career in Two Industries: Growing up in ice cream and evolving into film' on Monday, April 22, 2024, at 7:00pm at the Georgia Southern University Performing Arts Center on the GS Statesboro campus. 

This free presentation is open to the public and is part of the the Norman Fries Distinguished Lectureship Series.

Stratton Leopold, owner and operator of Leopold’s Ice Cream, is the youngest son of original founder Peter Leopold. He was born and raised in Savannah and grew up in the ice cream business under the guidance of his father and uncles, but his sights were set on something else entirely – Hollywood!

Stratton began his young adult life as a Pre-Med student at Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt Universities, but ultimately chose to follow his dreams and work his way into the film industry.

During his early career, he filled smaller behind-the-scenes roles like location manager (The Big Chill) and casting director (Wise Blood). You can even catch sight of Stratton acting in a few films – watch out for him pleasantly chatting with a zombie-like alien in John Carpenter’s They Live!

In time, he rose through the ranks and became a full-on producer and Vice President of Production at Paramount Pictures. His production career has been long and successful; his projects have included The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Mission: Impossible III, and the recent adaptation of The Wolfman starring Benicio del Toro and Anthony Hopkins.

Stratton Leopold has been in the film business for more than 40 years, producing major, high-budget motion pictures. He has nearly 60 film and television credits to his name, ranging from executive producer and producer to casting director and actor. 

As a vice president at Paramount Pictures and executive, he produced numerous commercially successful films, including “Mission Impossible III” (Tom Cruise), “The Sum of All Fears” (Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman) and “Paycheck,” (Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman), among others. 

Stratton is a member of the Directors Guild of America and Producers Guild of America. He is also a member and past chairman of the Georgia Film Advisory Board, which oversees the state’s $9.5 billion film and TV industry. 

At present, Stratton is independently producing films, including “Neon Highway,” starring Beau Bridges, which premiered in March. He is also working on an adaptation of a nonfiction New York Times bestseller and the best-selling memoir, La Americana. 

Stratton still produces movies, but his heart is where it was from the beginning – in Leopold’s Ice Cream.

See Stratton’s IMDB page for full details on his film career.

Statesboro residents have this incredible opportunity to come meet a legend in film and ice cream on Monday, April 22, 2024, at 7:00pm at the GS PAC, 847 Plant Drive in Statesboro, GA.

About the Norman Fries Distinguished Lectureship Series

The annual Norman Fries Distinguished Lectureship Series is sponsored by an endowment established to honor Mr. Fries, the founder of Claxton Poultry and former senior statesman of the poultry industry in Georgia. He passed away in December 2001.

Mr. Fries built his business from scratch—one truck, one cooler and one employee—into one of the nation’s largest poultry production plants with 1,600 employees, more than 300 family farm suppliers and an international market. Throughout his 50-plus years in the poultry business, one constant marked Mr. Fries’ career: a solid commitment to remaining an independent poultry producer. He served as past president and director of the Georgia Poultry Federation and director of the National Broiler Council and the Georgia Improvement Lab. He was also a life member of the Georgia Poultry Federation Poultry Leaders Roundtable.

As a boy growing up in Savannah, Mr. Fries ran bicycle deliveries of fresh chicken from his father’s City Market store to homes downtown. After serving in the Navy in World War II and earning a college degree, Mr. Fries returned to Savannah to start his own business. Mr. Fries recognized that retail poultry was changing from his father’s freshly dressed, home-delivered birds to store-bought, prepackaged, fresh poultry. In 1959, he opened Claxton Poultry, which today is one of the largest fully-integrated poultry plants in America.