UPDATED with Martin Scorsese and Oliver Stone quotes: Marion Billings, a publicist who worked with some of the biggest names in Hollywood including Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro and Oliver Stone, has died. Billings, who retired in 2007, died Sunday at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in New Jersey. She was 91.
“Marion Billings was one of the last of the old guard of publicists,” Scorsese said today in a statement. “It was never just business with Marion. Her clients all adored her, and I’m proud to say that I was one of them for many years. We started working together at the very beginning of my career, in 1968, and for three decades she was a close collaborator, a fierce protector, and above all a close and trusted friend to me and my family. Some of those years were pretty tough, and Marion handled it all beautifully.
“She was great at what she did, and she was a very special human being. For me, for many others, this is a very sad goodbye.”
Billings was the publicist for many of Scorsese’s early films including Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Casino, and The Last Temptation Of Christ. She was also the publicist on many of Stone’s most acclaimed films including Platoon, Born On The Fourth Of July, JFK, The Doors, Salvador, and Natural Born Killers.
“Marion was my first experience with a publicist in Hollywood — and what a ride it was,” Stone said. “Through Marion, I learned much about the world of Hollywood, but defanged by her Mother’s warmth. May she rest honorably in peace.”
Said Steven Poster, president of the International Cinematographers Guild, which also represents publicists: “Marion Billings helped raise the bar in film publicity over a long and distinguished career as a film publicist, having worked alongside some extraordinary filmmakers. She was Martin Scorsese’s go-to publicist on numerous films and also worked with Oliver Stone and Adrian Lynne. We were very proud to have her as a member of the guild.”