Publicist Max Bercutt, 83, died Oct. 23 in Tucson of cardiovascular ailments.Bercutt worked in Warner Bros. publicity from 1948-68, heading the department for 15 years. Previously he had been hired by David O. Selznick to handle publicity for “Gone With the Wind.” Bercutt’s first job in the entertainment biz was with RKO Pictures. He started there in 1929, and was a prop manager when he left in 1937. After a stint as a publicist and agent for the Feldman Talent Agency, he went to Europe where he fought in the Spanish Civil War. He returned to Hollywood and the Feldman Agency, but in 1939 became the publicist for “Gone With the Wind” after the previous publicist quit. In 1941, Bercutt enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was wounded in 1943. Upon his recovery, he created the position of liaison between the Navy and the motion picture industry, coordinating tours and visits for celebrities to Navy bases and ships. When the war ended, Bercutt returned to the Feldman Agency until David O. Selznick summoned him to work on the re-release campaign for “Gone With the Wind.” He stayed with Selznick until 1948 when he joined Warner Bros. He worked on such pix as “Giant,””The Great Race” and “The Music Man.” From 1968-84, Bercutt worked as a consultant in the entertainment biz. He retired in 1984 and moved to Tucson where he taught courses on the motion picture industry and the U. of Arizona. Bercutt also served on the Motion Picture Academy’s foreign film committee. Survived by his son, David Bercutt, and his sister, Victoryne Stricker. Donations in his memory may be made to NaAmat USA (formerly Pioneer Women), 1419 La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028.
Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more