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Publicity head Douglas Duitsman dies

Exec served as prexy of Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

Publicity exec Douglas Duitsman, who served as president of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, died of cancer Sept. 17 in Thousand Oaks, Calif. He was 81.

Duitsman was a VP of publicity and promotion at Warner Bros. as well as VP of publicity at Screen Gems.

While serving in the Navy, Duitsman was assigned to the Public Relations Office at Pearl Harbor.

He worked as a sportscaster in Hawaii and returned to Hollywood to become a writer for “The Mickey Mouse Club.”

Duitsman went on to join NBC as a publicist and eventually became director of the publicity department. He later became head of publicity at Screen Gems. When Screen Gems became the television division of Columbia Pictures, he served as a vice president. He later moved to Warner Bros. as VP of publicity and promotion.

Duitsman was a governor of the Academy’s public relations peer group, and in 1987 was elected president for a two-year term. He was also the founding chairman of the television publicity executives committee.

He retired in 1992.

Duitsman is survived by his wife of 62 years, Reba; two daughters; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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