Veteran marketing executive Eddie Kalish died Friday at a hospital in Escondido, California, following a brief battle with cancer, publicist Pamela Godwin-Austen announced. He was 78.
After heading the marketing divisions at Paramount, United Artists and MGM/UA in New York starting in 1979, Kalish came to Los Angeles in 1982 to join Mark Damon’s Producers Sales Organization as senior vp worldwide marketing.
There, he spearheaded the global campaigns for films including Never Say Never Again (1983), The Cotton Club (1984), The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984), Prizzi’s Honor (1985), Short Circuit (1986) and 9½ Weeks (1986).
After PSO went bankrupt, Kalish partnered with Dennis Davidson to launch Kalish Davidson Marketing in 1987, and that firm serviced such companies as Alliance Atlantis, Mayfair Entertainment, MCEG, MDP International, Mutual Film Co., Nelson Entertainment, Spelling Films, Turner Pictures International and Village Roadshow Pictures.
In 1998, Kalish opened Ambergate Associates, which offered marketing and distribution services, producer representation and worldwide distributor/exhibitor relations. Its client list included 310 Entertainment, Alcon Entertainment, Beyond Films, Dolby Laboratories, Good Machine International and Morgan Creek Productions.
Born on Staten Island in New York on April 27, 1939, Kalish graduated from Bard College in New York. He covered the film and music industry as a journalist before switching his focus to the marketing and publicity of movies.
He landed a job as a unit publicist and unit photographer on the George Segal film The Southern Star (1969), for which his future wife, Gillian, was the animal wrangler.
In addition to his wife of 50 years, survivors include children Amy and Justin.