Joan O’Brien

Screenwriter, publicist

Screenwriter and publicist Joan O’Brien died Nov. 12 of complications of two strokes. She was 87.

O’Brien helped create the 1960s TV series “To Rome, With Love,” starring John Forsythe. She also wrote the Jerry Lewis film “The Day the Clown Cried,” in which Lewis plays a clown who is forced to perform for children being sent to concentration camps. The controversial film was tied up in litigation and never released.

As a publicity agent, she repped Ronald Reagan, Elvis Presley, Mario Lanza and Peter Lawford.

Born in Newark, N.J., O’Brien attended NYU and worked in New York before coming to Hollywood, where she was employed by David O. Selznick. In her later years, she was active in West Hollywood politics.

She left no survivors.

Donations may be made to the L.A. Orthopaedic Hospital, the AIDS Health Foundation of L.A. or the USC Medical Center.

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