Stroke puts MPAA legend in the hospital

Empty

Former MPAA chief Jack Valenti has been hospitalized for treatment after a stroke.

Valenti, 85, had the stroke Friday and was expected to remain at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore for at least two weeks. Sources said Tuesday that the prognosis for Valenti's recovery looked good.

Valenti had gone to an eye specialist at Johns Hopkins, who told him he had experienced a stroke.

"His family tells me that the doctors are encouraged by his progress to date," said Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Barry Meyer, a close friend of Valenti. "(Valenti's wife) Mary Margaret and his children have asked me to express their deep appreciation of the outpouring of love, support and prayers. Out of respect for Jack and the family's privacy, we are not going to release any additional information at this time."

Johns Hopkins officials directed calls to Valenti's office.

Valenti had been scheduled to appear at the AFI Dallas International Film Festival last Saturday, but that was postponed because of "a family emergency." He has a new book, "This Time, This Place: My Life in War, the White House, and Hollywood," due out in June.

He retired from the MPAA in 2004, handing the reins to Dan Glickman, a former congressman and secretary of agriculture.

Valenti took over the MPAA in 1966 and established the MPAA ratings code in 1968. He became Hollywood's most recognizable face in Washington and lobbyist extraordinaire, fighting innumerable battles for the industry as he fended off government attempts to regulate content and pushed for more protections for copyrighted material.

Valenti also was the key to the television ratings system that was devised in the late '90s for use in conjunction with the V-chip content-blocking device.

Since leaving the MPAA, he has worked with the TV industry to fight tougher regulations to address concerns by parents' groups and regulators about profanity and sexual content on broadcast television.

He retains an office at the MPAA's Washington headquarters, where he works as a fundraiser for the Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
comments powered by Disqus