Morton Hock Dies at 85; Oversaw Marketing Campaigns for Paramount Films

Morton Hock, who spent five decades in marketing and advertising for Broadway and the motion picture industry, died at his home in New York on April 25 after a long struggle with leukemia. He was 85.

He did a stint with Broadway impresario David Merrick in the late 1950s. During the 1960s, he was advertising manager at United Artists and later VP and global marketing director for Paramount, overseeing campaigns for films such as “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Barbarella,” “Goodbye, Columbus,” “Love Story” and the original “True Grit,” for which he orchestrated the Academy Awards campaign that resulted in the only Oscar for John Wayne.

Later, while working for the producer Ray Stark, Hock created the campaign for “The Way We Were,” and then worked with the independent filmmaker John Cassavetes on “A Woman Under the Influence,” for which Hock received a Clio Award.

Hock stayed in New York despite many attempts by Hollywood to lure him out West, and ran motion picture advertising firm Charles Schlaifer and Co., then became executive VP at DDB Needham, where he oversaw the Universal Pictures account until he retired at age 72.

In all, he oversaw the release of over 500 films.

Hock serving in the U.S. Army from 1951-53 before beginning his career.

He made time to serve as president of the New York chapter of show business charity the Variety Club, created fundraising campaigns for the Variety Club and for Burke Rehabilitation Center (including the ubiquitous short films that preceded feature films in theaters around New York during the 1970s and ’80s). Hock was a member of the Friar’s Club for more than 40 years while also serving as a key member of the New York branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, where he was a fixture at screenings and events until the last months of his life.

Survivors include Hock’s wife of 55 years, Anita (Zagerman); a son and a daughter; and four grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 76th & Amsterdam, on Tuesday at 11:45 a.m.

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