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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.

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