Jay Cipes dies at 86

Writer-producer was also longtime Technicolor exec

Jay Herbert Cipes, writer, producer and Technicolor executive for over 20 years, died Feb. 1, 2013. Jay died of natural causes in Encino, Calif. He was 86.

Cipes began his film career in the publicity department of Columbia Pictures in New York, later working for Flamingo Films, where he met his longtime business partner, Ed Palmer. In the early 1960s, Palmer and Cipes formed St. Regis Films Intl. to acquire foreign films, dub them into English and syndicate them to U.S. television stations. When St. Regis’ slate of films was acquired by Four Star Prods., Cipes and Palmer moved to Los Angeles, where they had development deals at Fox, MGM and Columbia.

While at Fox they produced “The Challenge,” an ABC telepic starring Darren McGavin and written by future Academy Award winner Marc Norman.

Cipes joined Technicolor in 1973 as VP of marketing, eventually rising to senior VP-worldwide marketing director for its professional film division. While at the company he worked with editors and cinematographers including Dede Allen, Carol Littleton and John Bailey, Vittorio Storaro, John Alanzo, Gordon Willis, John Alcott, Victor Kemper, Giuseppe Rotunno, Laszlo Kovacs and Vilmos Zsigmond.

Born in Mt. Vernon, N.Y., he graduating from Cornell U. with a degree in English, completed midshipmen’s school at Columbia U. and served in the U.S. Navy during WWII.

A member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences since 1978, Cipes hosted the annual Technicolor Academy Awards parties, gathering some of the most highly esteemed below-the-liners on the eve of the Oscars.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Arianne Ulmer Cipes; two sons a daughter; a stepson; his brother; seven grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and his first wife, Rita Wienshienk.

Donations may be made to the Pasadena Humane Society and the ASPCA.

Popular on Variety

More Scene


    Emmys 2019: Inside All the Hottest Pre-Parties

    It’s (Emmys) party time! Before the 71st annual Emmys go live on Sunday, stars and execs are keeping busy by party-hopping in the days leading up to the big show. Here, Variety gives you the inside details on who was where and what they were doing. Keep checking back right here throughout the weekend for [...]

  • Jennifer Lopez Green Dress

    Jennifer Lopez Closes Out Versace Show in Famous Green Grammys Dress

    Jennifer Lopez has found her way back into the Versace dress that broke the internet in 2000. The “Hustlers” star closed out Versace’s Spring 2020 show in a re-worked version of the revealing, bright green silk chiffon dress that she wore to the Grammy Awards 20 years ago. The dress quickly became a pop-culture phenomenon, [...]

  • 10 Storytellers to Watch

    Variety Celebrates Inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch Event

    Storytellers from across the spectrum of entertainment — film, literature, podcasting and play writing — were honored Thursday at Variety’s inaugural 10 Storytellers to Watch luncheon at Gramercy Park Hotel, hosted with partner the Independent Filmmaker Project and presented by Audible. Honorees Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of “Friday Black”; “Limetown” podcasters Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie; [...]

  • Demi Moore Corporate Animals

    Demi Moore Teases Upcoming Memoir 'Inside Out,' Talks 'Corporate Animals' Team Bonding

    As Demi Moore gears up for the Sept. 24 release of her autobiography “Inside Out,” the actress says she feels like a weight has been lifted. “Even the stuff that I may have been nervous about is completely lifting…because it’s a process,” Moore told Variety at the premiere of her upcoming film “Corporate Animals” at [...]

  • Connie Britton BlogHer Summit

    Connie Britton on ‘Friday Night Lights’ Remake: ‘You Need to Let it Go’

    Connie Britton opened up at a fireside chat Wednesday at the #BlogHer19 Creators Summit in Brooklyn by talking about one of her most beloved roles — Tami Taylor in the fan favorite series “Friday Night Lights.” When asked if a remake of the sports cult film and Emmy-winning TV show is in the works she [...]

  • Mariah Carey Tracee Ellis Ross

    Mariah Carey, Tracee Ellis Ross Celebrate Biracial Heritage at “Mixed-ish” Premiere

    Mariah Carey and Tracee Ellis Ross embraced their “ish” at Tuesday night’s series premiere event for ABC’s “Mixed-ish” by reflecting on how their biracial identity makes working on the new show even more personal. “I’m just so thankful that this show exists,” Carey told the assembled crowd during a Q&A with series creator Kenya Barris. [...]

  • #WorldIsInOurHands Campaign

    Rainn Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Joaquin Phoenix And More Join #WorldIsInOurHands Campaign

    At the 44th annual Toronto Film Festival last week, in addition to attending red-carpet premieres and promoting films, some stars also joined in the fight to tackle the climate crisis. Antonio Banderas, Susan Sarandon, Joaquin Phoenix, Rainn Wilson, Rosario Dawson, Neve Campbell and Alfre Woodard are among the bold-faced names to join forces with the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content