Harold Myers, Variety’s longtime London-based European chief and top entertainment trade journalist, died March 17 at his home in Brighton, England, of a heart attack. He was 83.
He had suffered an earlier heart attack around Christmas, and had been in failing health for some time.
Born in 1912 in Russia, Myers moved at an early age with his family to the U.K. During World War II he served in the British army.
In 1948, he joined Variety’s London bureau and was responsible for editorial and marketing throughout continental Europe. At his peak, he was in charge of some 50 stringers.
Myers became a militant member of the U.K.’s National Union of Journalists.
Ill health forced him to quit the London bureau in 1968 and he became a traveling rep for the paper in territories such as Japan, the Far East and Australia. He was a familiar figure at all major film festivals.
Myers pioneered the concept of Variety special issues for major markets and festivals, including Cannes, MIP-TV and Mifed.
He instigated the opening of fully staffed foreign offices for Variety, notably Paris and Sydney. During his 20 years in London, he also covered the film, TV and legit beats as a reporter and critic, under the signature Myro.
A confidant of industry leaders, Myers numbered many top execs and impresarios among his friends, including Lew Grade, Bernard Delfont, Peter Saunders, Michael Balcon and Sydney Bernstein.
He is survived by his wife.