Fred Otash

Private investigator, Deceased Person

1922 – 1992


Who was Fred Otash?

Fred Otash was a Hollywood police officer, private investigator, and author. Fred Otash has been interviewed numerous times in the media, including in 1957 by Mike Wallace, which can be viewed online at the University of Texas.

Otash worked for Hollywood Research Incorporated, which did business with the tabloid magazine Confidential. He is also known for being hired by Peter Lawford to investigate Marilyn Monroe. Otash died at the age of 70 on October 5, 1992. Otash suffered from emphysema and high blood pressure. He wrote about his life in his memoir, Investigation Hollywood: Memoirs Of Hollywood's Top Private Detective. Fred Otash is survived by his daughter, Colleen Otash, and his three sisters, Evelyn Abisalih, Grace Steiner, and Lila Merhige.

Author James Ellroy has used a fictionalized version of Fred Otash in two of his novels from the Underworld USA Trilogy. Otash appears in The Cold Six Thousand and Blood's a Rover. Otash is also the main character in another story by James Ellroy called Shakedown. The movie Chinatown's main character, played by Jack Nicholson, was also based in part on Fred Otash.

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Jan 7, 1922
United States of America

on July 23, 2013


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"Fred Otash." STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 29 Sep. 2023. <>.

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