Friends and colleagues remember the MPAA chieftain

Jack Valenti was well known as a silver-tongued raconteur who was never at a loss for words. Friends and colleagues describe the depth of their feelings for the MPAA chieftain.

  • Actor Kirk Douglas: “He was so full of vitality. Hewas the most unique guy. He was my friend for over 45 years.”

  • Former Paramount Pictures chair Sherry Lansing: “He was so charismatic. He could get up and speak forever without a single note. There was never any falseness with Jack. He would always tell you the truth.”

  • DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg: “The part of Jack that was often hidden was how much he loved movies and movie makers. All of the transforming things that he accomplished for this business with the MPAA and the invention of the ratings – these things made the institution of film as strong as it is today.”

  • DreamWorks partner Steven Spielberg: “In a sometimes unreasonable business, Jack Valenti was a giant voice of reason.”

  • President Bush: “From protecting families by creating the movie rating system to advocating for intellectual property rights, Jack Valenti helped transform the motion picture industry.”

  • Warner Bros. chief Barry Meyer: “I have lost a dear friend and mentor — someone who not only made a mark in history, but also had a profound impact on my life.”

  • News Corp. president Peter Chernin: “He never felt he was more important than anyone else, and he never felt he had to win every argument. He was a great diplomat but he always did it without any calculation or effort to manipulate. He was always straightforward about what he wanted.”

  • Universal Studios president Ron Meyer: “Jack Valenti was an amazing human being, and in words alone I can’t do justice to his life, his contributions and most importantly his friendship.”

  • Disney CEO Robert Iger: “He was not only an incredible champion for the movie industry, but a man of great intelligence, integrity and humor with an uncanny ability to turn great thoughts into great words.”

  • Par president Brad Grey: “We join the entertainment community, Washington, and the world, in mourning the passing of our dear friend. A great American.”

  • Sony Pictures Entertainment toppers Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal: “Perhaps a fitting way to describe Jack is to say this man is rated ‘G’ – for Greatness.”
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