Variety has just announced that Jack Valenti, former president of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), died today. He'd been in the hospital after suffering a stroke about a month ago -- I remember because he was scheduled to receive an award at the AFI Dallas Film Festival, but had to cancel shortly beforehand. Valenti was released from the hospital yesterday, but died from complications related to his stroke. Hollywood Reporter's obituary includes a PDF of a statement from current MPAA President Dan Glickman, who called him "a giant who loomed large over two of the world's most glittering stages -- Washington and Hollywood."

The Variety article linked above includes a good bio of Valenti, which I'd definitely recommend reading. Despite the fact that I have not often agreed with Valenti's viewpoints on the U.S. movie ratings system and on copyright protection, I would have enjoyed the chance to hear him speak in Dallas. Valenti helped create and shape the ratings system that is currently used in U.S. theaters, as a way of keeping government-regulated censorship and ratings of films at bay. He was head of the MPAA from 1966 to 2004; before that time, the native Texan worked in the White House press offices during the John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson administrations. Before his stroke, Valenti was working on a book that was scheduled to be released in June: This Time, This Place: My Life in War, the White House, and Hollywood.
CATEGORIES Obits, Cinematical