Tom Sherak Memorial Service Evokes Tears, Laughter

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About 1,000 friends and family gathered Thursday for a memorial services for Tom Sherak, the longtime film marketing and distribution exec who died Tuesday.

The hour-long service, held at Temple Aliyah in Woodland Hills, highlighted his idealism, humor, warmth and pragmatism and generated both tears and laughter among attendees. Sherak was interred at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park in Simi Valley, Calif.

Sherak’s widow Madeleine spoke movingly at the service, describing how she had met her husband to be on a blind date on May 22, 1967, then received an engagement ring four months later on Sept. 22 and got married on Nov. 22. She was 18 and Sherak was 22.

“The numbers 18 and 22 were always very special for us,” she noted.

She also told the audience that Sherak was happy when he passed away, adding, “He was at peace with his life.”

Sherak’s daughters Barbra and Melissa also spoke, both pointing out his extensive philanthropic work and his love for his family. “He loves each and every one of you,” Barbra Neinstein said.

““You had the happy gene,” Melissa Glasser said of her father.

Rabbi Uri Herscher spoke about Sherak’s willingness to help others and keep his promises, adding, “Words are words. Deeds are what make up life.”

Herscher evoked laughs when he noted that Sherak has helped him speed up the waiting time for a recent hip surgery after arranging for Herscher to meet with a doctor and being told there was a three-month wait for an appointment. When asked if the delay was acceptable, the rabbi replied, “It’s acceptable to me, but I’m not sure it is to Tom.”

The event drew a wide array of industry execs, including Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Disney Studios topper Alan Horn;  Jim Gianopulos, chairman and CEO, 20th Century Fox Film; Sony’s Amy Pascal, Joe Roth, Dick Cook, Terry Semel, Tom Rothman, Barry Meyer and Brad Grey.

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  1. Ron C says:

    Sitting next to a stranger at the funeral as we were overwhelmed by the thousands there he said, “I thought I was the only one”. Tom made everyone feel so special. He will be sorely missed.

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