Arthur Manson, a veteran film executive whose career in marketing and distribution encompassed numerous Oscar-winning films, died May 14 at his home in Riverdale, N.Y. He was 90.
Manson worked on the marketing campaigns for “Walking Tall,” “Platoon,” “JFK,” “Hotel Rwanda,” “All the President’s Men,” “A Star Is Born,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “Cinema Paradiso,” “The Great Santini,” “Angela’s Ashes,” “The Cider House Rules,” and “Slumdog Millionaire.”
Manson was an adviser to Oliver Stone, Scott Rudin, Miramax, the Weinstein Company, Joseph E. Levine, and Stanley Kubrick. He worked for MGM, Samuel Goldwyn Productions, Stanley Kramer Productions, Columbia Pictures, Dino De Laurentiis, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Bros.
Born in Brooklyn, he was a graduate of City College of New York and followed his brother Alan into the entertainment business as “advance agent” for Laurence Olivier’s movie “Henry V” in 1948.
Manson was responsible for the worldwide rollout of Stanley Warner’s ultra-wide-screen Cinerama films. He became vice president of marketing and distribution for Warner Brothers Worldwide in 1976, overseeing the marketing of “All the President’s Men,” “A Star Is Born,” and “The Enforcer.”
Manson later founded his own consulting company, Cinemax Marketing and Distribution Corporation, with offices in New York and Los Angeles. The company was later renamed CineManson.
Manson founded the New York events committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He hosted the annual Oscar night party in New York City and served as chairman of the events committee from 1989 to 2004.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs, former president of the Academy, said, “Arthur Manson had a huge impact on my career. He taught me about the importance of marketing and distribution and its impact on the success of a motion picture. I valued his professionalism, his abundant knowledge of the business and his love of our industry. He was my mentor and my dear friend. I will miss him.”
Stone said, “It’s hard to express how great Arthur is. He represents the best virtues of the business.”
Manson was married for 65 years to Florence Sando Manson, a pioneering newscaster in Pittsburgh radio and television. She died in 2013 at age 95.
The couple lived in the Bronx neighborhood of Riverdale for 60 years. He was a longtime member of the Riverdale Yacht Club and the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel.
Manson is survived by a daughter, Cynthia Manson; her husband, Jeffrey Faville; their children, James and Catherine; and a son, Anthony Sando Manson; his wife, Angela North Manson; and their children, Daniel, William and Timothy.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Manson to the Calvary Fund, 1740 Eastchester Road, Bronx, NY 10461.