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Jeffrey Ballard, the veteran publicist who represented the likes of Charlie Sheen, Lori Loughlin, Johnny Depp, Paula Abdul and Matthew Perry, has died. He was 64.
Ballard died Jan. 30 at UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center after a long battle with lymphoma, Brad Bessey, director of communications and talent relations of Project Angel Food, told The Hollywood Reporter.
Ballard’s client roster at one time or another also included Zac Efron, Ryan Seacrest, C. Thomas Howell, Rob Gronkowski, Kristy McNicol, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Jared Leto, Willie Aames, Jerry Van Dyke, Cary Elwes, Bernie Koppel, Peter Marshall and Corbin Bernsen.
Ballard repped Sheen during his Oscar campaigns for Platoon (1986) and Wall Street (1987).
“While, most publicists react, he thinks far in advance, evaluates any likely outcomes, and then figures out what we ought to do,” Sheen once said. “I’ve never met another person in the industry who does this as well, and he’s never short on showing common courtesy to everyone he encounters.”
He was a co-executive producer on Sheen’s 2012-14 FX series Anger Management.
Ballard began his career in publicity when as a high school journalism student he visited the set of the 1977-81 ABC series Eight Is Enough and wound up signing actors Dick Van Patten and Adam Rich.
He then played an active role in Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign against drugs, being invited to the White House and working on celebrity events with the first lady and President Reagan.
He started out with Depp when the actor was starring on the 1987-91 Fox series 21 Jump Street.
Loughlin, a longtime friend, visited Ballard often in his final days in the hospital. “Jeff was a great friend and could always lift your spirits with his wicked sense of humor, which he maintained even in his darkest hours,” she said. “Jeff was thankful for his blessed life, the many friends he made along the way and the opportunities that were afforded to him. I miss him very much.”
On Instagram, Abdul wrote how she and Ballard met when they were teenagers and “forged a mutual admiration as people and professionals that lasted from my Laker Girls days to present day.”
She added: “We worked together, played together and knew we were always there for each other. The word love hardly describes my feelings for Jeff and the compassion I’ve had for all he has soldiered through, but I truly loved him so much. He will be missed by all whose lives he touched.”
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