Patricia Reed Scott, a pivotal figure in New York’s efforts to build its TV and film production industries, died May 23 in Neptune, N.J. of a subdural hematoma sustained in a fall. She was 86.
Her death was reported by her son, Matthew Scott, to The New York Times.
Scott served under two mayoral administrations – Edward I. Koch and Rudolph Giulianni – in key leadership roles with the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting. In the Koch years – 1983-89 – she was director of the office; she was commissioner of the office during the Giuliani years, 1994-2002.
Scott, who was married to actor George C. Scott from 1955-1960, began her career as an actress and singer, later moving to agency work and public relations, the latter including work for New York City’s Department of the Aging. She produced a PBS series on aging, Getting On, that won two Emmy Awards in 1976.
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Koch hired Scott as his deputy press officer before appointing her to the city’s film office. Throughout her years with the office, she was New York’s chief booster in encouraging film and TV production in the city, smoothing the way with tax abatements, low-interest loans, cutting through red tape and arranging for crowd control with the NYPD, among other services and operations.
During her stints with the Mayor’s Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting, Scott and her office became familiar to anyone reading the closing “special thanks” credits of TV series and films shot in New York, from Big and Ghostbusters II to numerous Law & Order episodes. One of the film’s offering thanks was 2001’s Vanilla Sky: In the early morning of Nov. 12, 2000, Scott had arranged for the blocking off of cars and pedestrians from New York’s Times Square for the famous dream sequence in which Tom Cruise’s character observes a deserted city.
Scott is survived by two children from her marriage to George C. Scott: son Matt and daughter Devon; and a grandson.
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