You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Chuck Panama, Longtime Industry Publicist, Dies at 93

Longtime industry publicist and former journalist Chuck Panama died at the Motion Picture and Television Fund home in Woodland Hills on May 13. He was 93.

Before beginning his career as a journalist and later publicist, Panama served in WWII after being drafted, working as a radio man on a B-24 bomber in the Pacific. After returning home, he enrolled at UCLA on the G.I. Bill, where he became the sports editor of the Daily Bruin. Panama remained closely involved with UCLA athletics after graduation, working with the press on basketball and football games for over 50 years.

Panama began his professional career as a correspondent for the Los Angeles bureau of International News Service (INS) before following his boss to the PR department at 20th Century Fox, where he worked with such celebrities as Elvis Presley and Jayne Mansfield. During this time, Panama became a voting member of both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Television Academy.

After 12 years in the motion picture division at Fox, Panama moved to independent PR, where he worked with stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Henry Fonda and Faye Dunaway. He returned to Fox’s television division in 1976, where he was publicist for “L.A. Law,” “The Simpsons,” and the last seven years of “M*A*S*H.”

During his career, Panama was honored by the Publicists Guild three times for excellence in his profession: as Outstanding Agency Publicist in 1976, as winner of the Les Mason Award in 1990, and as recipient of the Bob Yeager Award for community service in 1993.

Panama retired from Fox in 1991, but continued his PR passion as personal publicist for Fyvush Finkel, shepherding him through the press gauntlet after his 1994 Emmy win for best supporting actor on “Picket Fences.”

In retirement, Panama was an active member of the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society (EPPS) and the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters. He also volunteered at the Museum of Flying in Santa Monica and later at The Getty Museum.

Panama is survived by his wife of 64 years, Gerry, their children Craig, Cindy, and Carrie, and seven grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to MPTF or UCLA.

More Biz

  • Hong Kong Disneyland Remains in the

    Hong Kong Disneyland Remains in the Red but Reduces Losses

    The Hong Kong Disneyland Resort theme park remained in the red for the fourth straight year, but there are signs of improvement. For the financial year to end-September 2018, HKDL reported $769 million (HK$6 billion) of revenue from 6.7 million visitors, an increase of 8%. Net losses fell from $32 million (HK$291 million) to $6.92 [...]

  • Lisa Borders Time's Up

    Time's Up President Lisa Borders Resigns

    Lisa Borders has resigned as president of Time’s Up, she and the organization announced on Monday. Borders is resigning due to family issues, she said in a statement. Time’s Up COO Rebecca Goldman will now serve as interim CEO. “As Time’s Up continues to grow, I am proud of the work I have done to [...]

  • Jussie Smollett Good Morning America

    Jussie Smollett Angrily Denies Complicity in Attack

    Attorneys for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett issued a statement Saturday denying that he orchestrated his Jan. 29 assault, and saying he is “angered” and “devastated” by recent developments in the case. Chicago police want to interview Smollett, after learning new evidence from two Nigerian brothers who were released on Friday night. Local media outlets have [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • Colin Kaepernick Kneel

    Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid Reach Settlement With NFL

    Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid, two football players who alleged the National Football League colluded to oust them from the game after they started kneeling in protest of racial inequality during the playing of the national anthem, have reached a settlement in the matter, according to a statement from the sports organization and lawyers representing [...]

  • R. Kelly

    R. Kelly Could Be in ‘Big Trouble’ Over Alleged New Sex Tape, Attorney Says

    Strong allegations of sexual misconduct have followed R. Kelly for 25 years, but the singer has always managed to slip free. Yet reports that a videotape of him sexually assaulting an underage girl, combined with the outcry surrounding the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” means that public sentiment, at the very least, is definitely not [...]

  • Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in

    New Media Residuals and Feature Films Contribute to Spike in Writers' Pay

    The outlook for members of the Writers Guild of America has brightened — even amid pervasive uncertainty in the entertainment industry. According to the most recent report to WGA West members, earnings surged 2.8% to $1.41 billion in 2017, thanks mostly to gains in feature films and new-media residuals. Total covered earnings for WGA West [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content