John M. (Jack) Blanchette Jr., the publicist for Zsa Zsa Gabor for 30 years, died Tuesday, March 4, at UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, after a brief battle with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a form of Leukemia. He was 68.
Blanchette was the president and owner of Blanchette & Associates Public Relations in Santa Monica. He had worked in entertainment and corporate publicity for more than three decades, and for the past 15 years, he had also written travel, wine and food features for Copley and Creators news syndicates.
In addition to Gabor, Blanchette worked with Ned Beatty, Delta Burke, Cary Grant, Valerie Harper, Bob Hope, Michael Jackson and Debbie Reynolds, among others. He represented the Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors and promoted films including “Argo,” “Behind the Candelabra,” “Il Postino,” and “L.A. Confidential.” He also did stints in the publicity offices of Fox TV, KCBS and New World Pictures.
His charitable work included the Actors Fund.
Blanchette began his career as an editor at Harvard University Press. He moved to San Francisco and edited the Sierra Club Bulletin for three years before moving to Los Angeles to work in the entertainment industry. He spent six years at Boston College, earning a master’s in English literature; he also earned a masters in Anglo-Irish Studies at University/Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, and a degree in college administration from Indiana University.
Survivors include six brothers and two sisters.