Earl Greenburg dies at 61


RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. -- Earl Greenburg, an entertainment industry pioneer who elevated the profile of the Palm Springs International Film Festival by luring such stars as Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Halle Berry, has died. He was 61.

Greenburg, who was also known for his philanthropy and leading the fight for AIDS research, died Friday at Eisenhower Medical Center of skin cancer.

Greenburg's son, Ari Greenburg, said his father was first diagnosed with melanoma four years ago, but he seemed to have beaten it. It returned last year, he said.

"Earl was a pioneer in the entertainment industry, a leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS and a benefactor of many worthwhile causes," Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Palm Springs, said in a statement.

Greenburg, who became chairman of the Palm Springs International Film Festival in 2004, was once president of the Home Shopping Network. He later promoted the infomercial industry as chairman of the Electronic Retailing Association.

He was also a founding partner of Transactional Marketing Partners in Santa Monica and was chief executive officer of Total Marketing Partners in Palm Springs.

Greenburg is survived by his partner David Peet; son Ari; daughters Meredith and Kathryn; and brothers Shelly and Jon.

A memorial service was held Monday afternoon at Temple Isaiah in Palm Springs.