Former exec had served for more than 50 yrs. at studio
Sergio “Gino” Campagnola, who served for more than 50 years with Paramount Pictures, died Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 76.
With a career that spanned the releases of Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” to James Cameron’s “Titanic,” Campagnola’s most recent post at the studio was executive president of electronic cinema, a role he assumed in 2001 after serving for almost a decade as executive VP and general sales manager.
Like so many other industyites, Campagnola got his start in the mailroom — in his case in Paramount’s Gotham office. In 1956, the year of DeMille’s biblical blockbuster, he was upped to the contract department, where he spent five years before moving on to the sales and distribution area.
It was in that department that his career took off as he rose through the ranks as director, then VP of sales administration and eventually was named senior VP and general sales manager. He was a key member of the team that released a string of hits including “The Godfather” films, “Chinatown,” “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease” in the 1970s, and Oscar winners “Ordinary People” and “Terms of Endearment” as well as blockbusters such as “Airplane!,” “Beverly Hills Cop” and the Indiana Jones trilogy in the 1980s.
After Paramount relocated its home office from New York to Los Angeles following the death of Gulf+Western chief Charles Bluhdorn in 1983, Campagnola took the reins of Paramount Canada and was based in Toronto from 1987 to 1992.
During his near decade as exec VP and general sales manager, he oversaw the releases of the Oscar winners “Forrest Gump” and “Braveheart” as well as the box-office hits like “Mission Impossible” and “Runaway Bride.”
In 2001, his 50th anniversary with the company, Campagnola was honored with the Humanitarian Award from the Variety Boys & Girls Club of Queens. His accompanying citation read, “In the truest sense of the word, Gino Campagnola is one of the motion picture industry’s true gentlemen and friends who has earned the respect and admiration of all who know him.”
Campagnola is survived by his wife, Danielle, and his son, Justin.