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Basil Thomas “Buzz” Williams, longtime publicist and PR writer for Rogers & Cowan in Beverly Hills, died Feb. 3 in Sherman Oaks of complications from pneumonia. He was 82.?
Born in Toronto, Williams was a reporter on the Toronto Globe & Mail for many years before moving to Los Angeles in the early 1960s, where he worked part-time for the Los Angeles Times covering entertainment.
In 1962, he joined Rogers & Cowan’s PR department as a publicist and writer. At the time, agency partner Henry Rogers remarked that he was impressed and a bit amused by the fact that Williams sent in his application on newsprint paper, obviously borrowed from Times’ supplies.
Williams’ main accounts at the firm included shows Hollywood: The Golden Years, which featured veteran stars such as Francis X. Bushman and Mary Pickford; Sound of the Sixties, written and produced by former MGM president Dore Schary; The Joey Bishop Show; and That Girl.
Williams several years later moved to the Jay Bernstein Co. when publicist Bernstein left R&C to start his own PR agency. He also worked for Mike Casey & Associates and before retirement had a 10-year stint with the Mike Mamakos Public Relations Co.
Survivors include former wife Cynthia Clark and a son, an attorney in Toronto.
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