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Posts Tagged ‘Warren Beatty’

RIP Lois Smith, ‘Publicist to the Stars’

The lights of Broadway shine a little less brightly today after the death of Lois Smith, a star publicist colloquially known as “Earth Mother” whose “strong, steady hands” helped shape the careers of some of the 20th century’s biggest names on stage and screen.

Smith died of a brain hemorrhage after falling down a staircase in Maine; Cindi Berger, current CEO of PMK*BNC—a company originally started by Smith—confirmed her passing on Sunday. She was 85. A very brief list of former clients gives you some idea about the extent of her influence:

  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Robert Redford
  • Meryl Streep
  • Martin Scorsese
  • Warren Beatty
  • Whitney Houston

Lois Smith was a trailblazer who brought big changes to a business dominated by men. In 1969, she co-founded the all-star PR agency PickWick, which later merged with Maslansky/Koenigsberg and then joined BNC in 2009 to form the firm that we know today as PMK*BNC. Between those two dates, she had a hand in organizing and promoting some of the biggest movies ever made; in short, she all but created the modern-day entertainment PR industry.

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MPAA’s CEO Quest Ends With Dodd

After a 15-month, Lost Ark-rivaling quest, the Motion Picture Association of America‘s search for a chairman-CEO has finally ended. The MPAA announced this week that five-term Connecticut senator and one-time presidential hopeful Christopher Dodd would take on the role.

Dodd didn’t sound a bit shaken when he told the L.A. Times that his years of cross-party work “putting together a financial reform bill and 50 percent of the healthcare bill” have adequately prepared him to wheel-and-deal among cut-throat movie execs, big challenges lie ahead for the former senator, whose only previous experience with Hollywood was a cameo in the 1993 Ivan Reitman movie Dave.

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