Longtime Hollywood publicist Dick Delson died following a lengthy illness Sunday. He was 81. His death at an assisted-care facility in Yarmouth, Maine, was announced by niece Joanna Delson.
A member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, Delson had more than 50 years of public relations, advertising, promotional and marketing experience. Delson supervised the press activities of hundreds of major motion pictures, independent films, television series and specials, many involving campaigns for the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes and the Cannes Film Festival.
In 2003, he and George Lucas were recipients of the Golden Satellite Award from the International Press Academy for Outstanding Service to the Entertainment Industry.
In addition to fronting his own Delson and Associates LA-based firm, Delson teamed with the late Murray Weissman on Weissman Delson Communications from ’98-2005.
Prior to forming his own agency, Delson was National Director of Publicity/Promotion and Television Advertising for Walt Disney Productions, where he created and executed publicity campaigns for Tron, Tex and Fantasia. He also created publicity/promotion and television advertising campaigns that included trailers, television spots and video press kits for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Never Cry Wolf, Running Brave and Splash.
As National Director of Publicity for Filmways Pictures, Delson provided publicity and promotion for Dressed to Kill, Blow Out, Deathwish II, Comin’ at Ya!, Four Friends and Ragtime, which was produced by Filmways and later distributed by Paramount Pictures.
At MCA, Inc. Universal Pictures, he worked on Airport, Jaws, Jaws II, The Deer Hunter, American Graffiti, The Sting, Smokey and the Bandit, Coal Miner’s Daughter and Animal House. Among the many actor campaigns he oversaw, he worked with James Coburn on the successful Oscar campaign for Affliction.
Delson was born on July 18, 1936 in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. He is survived by his wife Jane Delson, daughter Kim Delson, nieces Perla Delson and Joanna Delson, and brother Carl Harnick, among other family. He was predeceased by son Marc Delson.