×

Marvin Antonowsky Dies at 86; Exec Was Marketing Chief at Universal, Columbia

Marvin Antonowsky, who ran the marketing departments at Universal and Columbia and also did a stint as NBC’s VP of programming, died April 7. He was 86.

While at Columbia from 1980-84, Antonowsky oversaw the campaigns for films including “Absence of Malice,” Oscar best picture winner “Gandhi,” “Tootsie,” “The Big Chill” and “Stir Crazy,” . In 1984 he leaped to Universal as president of marketing in 1984, launching films including “The Breakfast Club,” “Out of Africa” and “Fletch.” Later in the decade, Antonowsky was a consultant for TriStar Pictures, managing the marketing for “Steel Magnolias,” “Look Who’s Talking,” “The Bear” and “See No Evil, Hear No Evil.”

He returned in 1990 to Columbia to join chairman Frank Price, a close friend, serving as exec VP and assistant to the chairman; in 1993, Antonowsky and Price both exited to launch Price Entertainment, whose films would include “Circle of Friends,” “A Bronx Tale” and “Shadowlands.” He remained until 1996 and subsequently consulted on marketing for movie and TV projects.

Antonowsky began his showbiz career in advertising at Kenyon & Eckhart, where he rose to VP of marketing in 1957. In 1965 he was named VP in charge of media research and spot buying at J. Walter Thompson; moving into television four years later, he joined ABC as VP in charge of research and after that served at NBC as VP of programming at the time when the network launched “Saturday Night Live.”

He became senior VP at Universal Television in 1976 before beginning the movie phase of his career.

Antonowsky was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and served on the board of the L.A. Opera. In 2008 he donated $2.5 million to his alma mater, Manhattan’s Baruch College to aid in the expansion of the campus’ performing arts center, which was redubbed the Marvin Antonowsky Performing Arts Complex.

More Biz

  • Jussie SmollettFox Upfront Presentation, Arrivals, New

    Jussie Smollett Named a Suspect by Chicago Police for Filing False Report

    Chicago police have named “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett as a suspect in a criminal investigation, three weeks after he reported he was the victim of a hate crime. Detectives are presenting evidence to a grand jury, which is expected to determine whether to indict Smollett on a charge of filing a false police report. “Jussie [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business

    WGA, Agents Face Tough Issues on New Franchise Pact (Column)

    The Writers Guild of America and the major talent agencies are seven weeks away from a deadline that could force film and TV writers to choose between their agents and their union. This is a battle that has been brewing for a year but few in the industry saw coming until a few weeks ago. [...]

  • Island Records Names Christine Kauffman Senior

    Island Records Names Christine Kauffman Senior VP of Brand Partnerships

    Veteran advertising executive Christine Kauffman has been named senior VP of brand partnerships at Island Records, the company announced today. She will be based in New York and report to Island COO Eric Wong. In making the announcement, Island President Darcus Beese said, “The fast-paced and competitive field of strategic brand marketing has become an [...]

  • Latin Music Veteran Nir Serioussi Joins

    Latin Music Veteran Nir Serioussi Joins Interscope as Executive VP

    Interscope Geffen A&M announced today that veteran executive, producer and songwriter Nir Seroussi will join the company as executive vice president. The announcement was made by Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman and CEO John Janick, to whom Serioussi will report. (Seroussi, center, is pictured above with Janick, left, and Interscope EVP Joie Manda.) According to the [...]

  • Tan FranceUnforgettable Gala, Inside, Los Angeles,

    'Queer Eye' Star Tan France to Host Audiobook Audie Awards

    “Queer Eye” resident style expert Tan France is taking on a slightly different project next month as he hosts the Audie Awards, which honors the best releases and achievements in audiobooks over the past 12 months. The ceremony, which takes place on March 4 in New York, is an annual event organized by the Audio [...]

  • Obit Obituary Placeholder

    Shelly Saltman, Former Fox Sports President and Promoter, Dies at 87

    Sheldon “Shelly” Saltman, the sports promoter behind the Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs tennis match and Evel Knievel’s Snake River Canyon jump, died Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 87. The original president of Fox Sports, Saltman started his career as a sports announcer before moving to promotions at media companies like the Gillette Cavalcade [...]

  • Arista Records, Mogul Vision Launch Joint

    Arista Records, Mogul Vision Launch Joint Venture

    Arista Records and Smokepurpp/ Lil Mosey manager Josh Marshall today announced the launch of Mogul Vision Music, a new joint venture label focused on “breaking extraordinary talent and building artist careers through innovative A&R, branding and marketing strategy,” according to the announcement. Based in New York with Marshall (pictured above left, with Massey) as its CEO, the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content