Andrea Jaffe, Influential Hollywood Publicist, Dies at 66

andrea jaffe ONE TIME USE - Getty - S 2016
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andrea jaffe ONE TIME USE - Getty - S 2016

A member of a prominent Hollywood family, she promoted the careers of Tom Cruise and Oliver Stone.

Andrea Jaffe, a member of one of Hollywood’s legendary dynasties who established herself as a prominent publicist in the 1980s, died Wednesday in Wilmington, N.C., following a lengthy illness. She was 66.

Leo Jaffe, her late father, served as chairman of the board of Columbia Pictures from 1973 until 1981, while her brother, Stanley Jaffe, a producer of such films as Kramer vs. Kramer and Fatal Attraction, was president of Paramount and COO of Paramount from 1991 to 1994.

Andrea Jaffe became a force in her own right as she handled publicity for Tom Cruise as he vaulted to stardom with 1983’s Risky Business. Her client list also included such stars as Richard Gere, Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, Farrah Fawcett, Bette Midler and Sissy Spacek and directors like Michael Apted and Oliver Stone, who thanked her from the stage when he won his directing Oscar for 1986’s Platoon.

Other films she promoted included Rain Man, The Grifters, The Doors and JFK, and companies she repped included Jaffe/Lansing Productions and Largo Entertainment. A 1991 Los Angeles magazine article dubbed her one of Hollywood’s “Flacks Fatales.”

Jaffe began her career as an assistant at Rogers & Cowan and went on to work for such films as M/S Billings Publicity and ICPR before becoming a vp at PMK, where Pat Kingsley, another legendary publicist, was a partner. In 1986, she founded her own firm, Andrea Jaffe & Associates, which she led until 1991, when she closed it upon taking a studio job as president of marketing at 20th Century Fox, where she oversaw advertising, publicity and and promotion for three years.

Jaffe subsequently served as an independent marketing consultant for a number of motion pictures and producers and devoted her time to nonprofit organizations, including Save the Children.

She is survived by brothers Stanley, Ira, Howard and sister Marcia and her nieces and nephews Betsy, Bobby, Alexander, Katie, Wendy, Eric, Leah, Todd and Dana.

Donations in her name may be made to the Save the Children Foundation.