Longtime entertainment industry publicist Henri Bollinger died Monday of complications from surgery. He was 89.
Bollinger, a resident of the Motion Picture and Television Fund campus in Woodland Hills, Calif., was a publicist for 60 years. He served five terms as president of the Publicists Guild, from which he received the Bob Yeager Award and Les Mason Award. He served for 37 years as chairman of the Publicists Awards Committee, which organizes the annual International Cinematographers Guild Publicists Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Steven Poster, president of the International Cinematographers Guild, said, “Henri was beloved by everyone he came into contact with. He was a loyal and true member to our union. Henri helped everybody just by being Henri. I know many of us will feel we lost not just a friend but a gentleman we considered family.”
Tim Menke, who succeeded Bollinger as chair of the Publicists Awards Committee, said, “Nothing but respect, admiration and thanks to Henri and for the dedication he devoted to our profession. He was a mensch among publicists. I will miss my friend and mentor.”
Bollinger ran his eponymous public relations agency for 50 years. He worked on publicity and promotion campaigns for motion picture and television production companies, feature films, television shows, distributors, producers, directors, actors, authors, post-production companies and public service agencies.
He worked on the movies including “The People Under the Stairs,” “Nightmare on Elm Street,” “The Serpent and the Rainbow,” and “Friday the 13th” and TV shows such as “Major Dad,” “The Price Is Right,” “The Secret Files of J. Edgar Hoover,” “The Kennedy Center Honors,” “Simon & Simon,” “The Ernie Kovacs Show,” and “The Julie Andrews Hour.”
Bollinger’s clients included Bob Barker, Gerald MacRaney, Shirley Jones, Marty Ingels, and Jack Jones. He also repped the Entertainment Industries Council, the Prism Awards, the Cinema Audio Society Awards, Wes Craven Films, DLT Entertainment, Smith/Hemion Productions, Shochiku Films of Japan, Fries Entertainment, George Schlatter Productions, the Golden Nugget Hotel/Las Vegas, Binion’s Hotel and Casino/Las Vegas, including 13 years of publicity for “The World Series of Poker.”
He served on the public relations committee of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. He was also chairman of the publications and publicity committee of the International Cinematographers Guild and a member of its national executive board.
Bollinger told Variety in a 2016 interview that he had been an early supporter of using social media, particularly as the need emerged to get publicity out around the clock. He said that the need to change was underlined when a client asked that the information go out at the hour of 2 a.m.
“I could not stay up that late so I wound up recruiting a student from my PR class at UCLA Extension,” he recalled. “So it got sent out at 2 a.m., and at 9 a.m. I got a call from the client, who was pleasantly surprised at getting all the responses that early in the day. And the studios then discovered the value of social media pretty quickly — so much so that they often launched it without announcing that they were doing it.”
Bollinger is survived by his wife Sandy; their children, Jennifer Goosenberg, Jeffrey Bollinger and Jeremy Bollinger; and their grandchildren.
The memorial service and interment will be Aug. 30 at Groman Eden Memorial Park in Mission Hills. Charitable contributions can be made to Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue in Encino and the Motion Picture Television Fund.