The Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) has announced that long-time union leader Marjo Bernay died of a heart attack on Sunday at the age of 79.
Chuck Parker, National Executive Director of the ADG, said, “Today we remember Marjo Bernay as a special voice that spoke truth to power in our industry. In one sense Marjo has left us. But in another sense, she is still here, because she has touched and affected so many of us – peers and superiors, women and men, everyone she greeted warmly and whose voice she recognized when they called on the phone. Her spirit lives on in our collective hearts and actions, today and every day.”
Bernay followed in her father Josef Bernay’s footsteps, starting out as Business Agent of the Illustrators & Matte Artists (Local 790) and Set Designers & Model Makers (Local 847) from 1979 until they merged with the ADG in 2008. She was also Business Agent for the Story Analysts (Local 854) and eventually retired from the ADG as Manager of Awards and Events in 2013.
Bernay was a former Trustee of the Set Designers Council and member of the Board of Directors of the Art Directors Guild. She was appointed by various elected officials to the California Film Commission, the Los Angeles Film Development Committee and to the Los Angeles County Film Commission. She was especially proud of her service as a trustee of the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans, where she was the first woman from the labor side to chair the Health Plan.
Over the years Marjo worked closely with her sister Casey who remains with the ADG as Director of Education and Special Projects.
Other than Casey, Marjo is survived by her brother Mark and brother-in-law Dennis Lotka who ask that any donations in memoriam be sent to the Lange Foundation for Animal Rescue, Care and Placement.