“It is with great regret that I have to let you know of the passing of our dear friend and colleague Jorge Camara,” Lorenzo Soria, current HFPA president, said in a statement. “Jorge passed away peacefully yesterday afternoon after struggling with health issues for the past few years. As a past president of the HFPA, he was instrumental in the success of our association. Many of you have worked closely with him, and we know you will join in our sorrow.”
Camara was born on Jan. 10, 1936. Originally from Mérida, Mexico, he studied journalism in Mexico City and made his way to Los Angeles to pursue a career writing about film, a passion of his from a young age.
After arriving in Southern California, he found work writing for three publications. One of his editors sent a letter of recommendation to former HFPA president, Miguel deZarraga, a Spanish correspondent, and Camara became a member a short time later.
One of his first interviews as a member was with Bette Davis on the set of the 1964 crime drama Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte.
Camara recently served as chairman of the HFPA’s board. He spent six years as HFPA president in scattered years, most recently from 2007 to 2009. He was also an officer or board member for more than 20 years after joining the HFPA in 1968.
Camara was a film critic for La Opinion and also served as a film critic and columnist for other foreign language and English language publications.
In addition, he worked as a correspondent, producer and critic for a variety of Spanish-language television productions, including Univision’s popular Primer Impacto, a daily magazine program airing in the U.S. He also worked on several Telemundo productions, including Estrenos y Estrellas, Al Rojo Vivo, Hollywood Hoy and on programming for KVEA-TV in Los Angeles.
He produced, directed or worked on international broadcasts for HBO Olé, the first HBO premium channel of Latin America.
“He will be missed by all and his contributions to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Hollywood journalism community will not soon be forgotten,” the HFPA said Saturday.
Camara was also a member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Film Critics Association. He served as president of LAFCA from 1988-90.