Evelyn Gordon, Longtime Fox Executive, Dies at 75

Courtesy Rana Matthes

She worked at the studio for 40 years, mainly in charge of the nontheatrical department responsible for airline-edited versions of films and TV shows.

Evelyn Gordon, a top executive at 20th Century Fox for four decades, died June 30 at her home in Beverly Hills after a battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. She was 75.

As executive director of technical operations for the nontheatrical department at Fox, much of her career was devoted to issues involved with playing movies and TV shows on in-flight entertainment systems. Airline requirements included the creation of edited versions and early procurement of foreign-language tracks and subtitles. The market sector continues to grow and generates a significant portion of studios' nontheatrical revenue.

Gordon retired from Fox in May 2002.

Born in West Berlin in 1938, she came to the U.S. in 1956 and joined Deluxe Labs (then owned by Fox) in 1962. Fox transferred her to Los Angeles in 1972 when it closed its East Coast lab operations.

Gordon worked with legendary editor James Blakeley (the TV shows Batman, M*A*S*H, Peyton Place) to create airline-edited versions of product until he retired in his nineties.

As a board member and treasurer of the World Airline Entertainment Association (now the Airline Passenger Experience Association), she represented Fox at industry events worldwide. In 2001, the WAEA gave her a lifetime achievement award, presented at the organization's annual event in Brisbane, Australia.

Gordon served as president of the Hollywood chapter of Women of the Motion Picture Industry, for which she spearheaded fundraisers and community and industry service projects. She also held several officer positions at WOMPI International, culminating with a vp role in 1980.

WOMPI has supported an array of charitable projects that includes work for the Motion Picture & Television Home (for which the Hollywood chapter funded a hospital room), the Will Rogers Institute, the Children’s Film Festival, a PBS station, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Actors and Others for Animals.

Survivors include sisters Ruth and Ceil; nieces Ellen, Meredith, Michelle and Margie; nephews Elliott and Richard; great-nephews Jordan and Seth; and great-niece Sydney.

At Gordon's request, there will be no services. Donations in her honor can be made to the ALS Association or to Actors and Others for Animals.