×

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

  • Bert Salke and Jennifer Salke

    Feds Looked Into Amazon Studios Chief Jennifer Salke in College Admissions Scandal

    Federal investigators looked into Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke and her husband, Fox 21 Television Studios president Bert Salke, as they conducted a sprawling probe of cheating in elite college admissions, a source close to the case told Variety. It does not appear, however, that prosecutors will charge the Salkes in the case. The Salkes [...]

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    Big Blackout Looms as CBS, AT&T Go Down to Wire on Renewal Talks

    A blackout affecting CBS stations in major markets throughout the country looms as CBS and AT&T executives go down to the wire on negotiations for a retransmission consent deal covering 28 O&O stations. The sides have sparred publicly during the past few days as 11 p.m. PT Friday expiration of the previous contract approached. AT&T [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    ICM Responds to WGA Packaging Lawsuit: Claims are 'Baseless' and 'Absurd'

    ICM Partners has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed against four major talent agencies by the Writers Guild of America as part of the larger war between agencies and the guild over packaging fees on TV series and movies. The guild sued ICM, CAA, WME and UTA in California state court in April, [...]

  • New York City NYC Placeholder

    CityFM Podcast Takes a Deep Look at New York’s Music Scene (Listen)

    First among the many projects listed at the beginning of New York Music Month in June was a WNYE radio show and podcast called CityFM that promised to “explore the city’s music culture, emerging artists and trends, and upcoming events told through the lens of what’s happening around the city in Summer 2019.” And while [...]

  • Live Nation Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation)

    Live Nation Confirms Placing Tickets Directly on Secondary Market at Artists’ Request

    Representatives for Live Nation, the world’s largest live-entertainment company and owner of Ticketmaster, confirmed that it bypassed conventional channels and directly placed thousands of concert tickets on the secondary market upon artists’ request, in an article published in Billboard. In a statement shared with Variety, the company acknowledged that it has facilitated the transfer of [...]

  • Costume designer Michele Clapton

    Costume Designers Fashion a Plan to Fight for Pay Parity in Upcoming Contract Talks

    The Costume Designers Guild Local 892 is gearing up to fight for pay equity in its 2021 contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, establishing a pay-equity committee to raise awareness of the scale disparity between the mostly female CDG membership and the mostly male membership of the Art Directors Guild Local [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content