Nicholas Allen Draklich, the veteran video industry executive who was a key player in helping Nostalgia Merchant set up its distribution of video titles, died April 14 of cancer at his home in Los Angeles. He was 70.
A native of Bakersfield, Draklich began his career while in high school, working as a radio announcer and booking big-band performers including the Andrews Sisters, Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey and Duke Ellington.
He later attended Stanford, and while studying for his master’s degree in political science, was named assistant governor of Guam during the Korean War.
In 1952 he married Betty Saroyan in Tokyo and by the end of the decade moved his family to Los Angeles, where he subsequently went to work for Ross Bagdasarian as associate producer of the animated TV series “The Chipmunks.”
After a 10-year stint with Larry Harmon (Bozo the Clown), he joined Nostalgia Merchant in 1977 and became instrumental in licensing and setting up distribution for classic films.
In 1982 he joined NTA (now known as Republic Pictures) as senior VP, developing and expanding their film library from 20 to 600 titles.
He is survived by his wife, three daughters and two granddaughters.
Family suggests donations to the John Wayne Cancer Institute, St. Johns Hospital & Health Center, 1328 22nd St., Santa Monica, CA 90404.