Filed in: News, Obituaries

Tom Sherak Passes Away at 68

January 29, 2014 | By
Tom Sherak

Tom Sherak

Studio executive, former AMPAS president and L.A. Film Czar Tom Sherak passed away Tuesday at the age of 68 after a 12-year battle with prostate cancer.

According to a report in Variety, Sherak had been scheduled to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February, but as his condition worsened this week, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce moved up the installation to Tuesday, just hours before his death.

According to a statement from his family, “He died at home surrounded by his family giving him hugs, kisses and love… Tom lived his life as an open book. He opened his heart and let the world in, and anyone who was lucky enough to know him knew first hand the power of his love. He gave everything he had to help others, regardless of whether or not he knew them. Tom is a true hero in our lives who has a star on the sidewalk and wings to fly.”

Sherak joined the executive branch of the Academy in 1983. He served three terms on the board of governors, from August 2003 through July 2012, the last three years as president.

“In the more than 30 years I’ve known Tom, his passionate support of and excitement about the motion picture business, the Academy, his family and friends never wavered. He was truly larger than life, and he will be missed,” said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy president.

“He was my mentor and my friend. I learned from him, I laughed with him, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the time we shared together,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “He had a huge influence on the direction of our Academy and on me personally. I will miss laughing with him most of all.”

In September, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Sherak as senior advisor and director of the Mayor’s Entertainment Industry and Production Office, putting him in charge of efforts to support local film production and serve as a liaison between state lawmakers and the entertainment industry. He was earning $1 per year.

Sherak’s five-decade career has seen him at the pinnacle of motion picture marketing, distribution and production. As a partner at Revolution Films, Sherak helped lead the release of 47 films including Black Hawk Down, and he consulted for Marvel Studios on films including Iron Man. He also served as chairman of Twentieth Century Fox Domestic Film Group, senior executive vice president of Fox Filmed Entertainment, and president of domestic distribution and marketing for Twentieth Century Fox.

Sherak was also founder and chairman of the MS Hope Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting the needs of the Multiple Sclerosis community. He also served as chairman of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation and as a former board member of the Motion Picture and Television Fund. He served on the boards of the Fulfillment Fund, (an inner city college access organization) and the Vision to Learn organization, which supplies free glasses to L.A. city students. He and his wife, Madeleine, received the 2010 Visionary Honor from the Lighthouse International board of directors for their philanthropic work.

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