Laurane “LaLa” Sheehan, the actor-turned-corporate entertainment publicist and events planner who had worked at Maggie Begley Communications for 30 years, died November 11 of a sudden heart attack. She was 61.
Sheehan was a Senior Accounts Supervisor at entertainment marketing and PR firm MBC, working with clients across three decades including Laika and the animation studio’s string of Oscar-nominated films; Locksmith Animation; The Gotham Group; Cinedigm; and Anheuser-Busch, among others. She worked on movies including Laika’s Kubo and the Two Strings, Missing Link and Coraline; The Invisible War; Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World; and Beasts of No Nation.
She also had stints as a publicist at entertainment PR firms Mahoney/Wasserman and PMK/HBH.
“What a joy it is to work with your best friend,” said Begley. “We laughed with abandon every single day. I thought that kind of laughter was the ticket to a long life…but the universe had other plans for our beautiful and talented Laurane. She’s with her parents now, her beloved Elvyra and Roy…and most likely will while away eternity playing endless games of Scrabble. She loved being part of the film industry, delighted in the artistry of our clients and was a shining light and spirit to all she encountered. Rest in peace my friend.”
“Laurane was one of our favorite people in this business and was a part of the extended family at The Gotham Group,” Gotham Group founder and CEO Ellen Goldsmith-Vein said. “Her sunny disposition, energy and support of our Gotham personnel and projects was steadfast and so appreciated. We shall miss her dearly.”
Said Laika Studios’ Chief Marketing Officer and SVP Business Operations David Burke: “Laurane was truly an exceptional person with a hugely positive influence on others. She was a vital member of the Laika family and showed the way forward with her bright light. I count myself very lucky to have had the chance to work her. Laurane was a committed professional, dedicated and wonderful and always fun. It is unthinkable that she is gone. We extend our deepest condolences to Laurane’s family and friends. May she rest in peace.”
Sheehan, born in Maryland and a graduate of Catholic University in Washington, DC, started her career as an actress, arriving in Los Angeles in 1983 in a touring production of Woman of the Year starring Lauren Bacall. In the 1990s she became the first executive director of the Music Video Producers Association and executive produced the organization’s first MVPA Awards. She also became known for creating events for clients on the mega-yachts famously anchored in the Old Port during the Cannes Film Festival.
She is survived by her brother Paul Sheehan, his wife Nancy and their son Christopher Sheehan; her sister Maureen Glovins and her children Kevin and Brian Glovins, Stephanie Nover and Shannon Belli; and her sister-in-law Lisa Sheehan and her sons Vincent Sheehan and Robert “Robby” Sheehan, Jr. and his wife, Erin.
A memorial service (in-person and livestreamed) is planned for 1:30 p.m. PT December 3 at St. Mark Parish in Venice, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Heart Association.