J.D. Disalvatore, Producer of LGBT Films, Dies at 51

Courtesy of Marina Rice Bader
J.D. Disalvatore

Her 2007 film 'Shelter' was honored by GLAAD and topped a list of the 100 best gay movies of all time.

J.D. Disalvatore, a leading producer of LGBT films and a gay rights activist, died Thursday at her home in Sherman Oaks after a long battle with cancer, a publicist announced. She was 51.

Disalvatore produced writer-director Jonah Markowitz's Shelter (2007), which won a GLAAD Media Award for best feature film in limited release and in 2012 topped a list of the 100 greatest gay movies of all time.

Her résumé also includes the short film Gay Propaganda (2002), Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds (2006), A Marine Story (2010), Elena Undone (2010) and Perry & Emile (2012).

Disalvatore served as Outfest's festival manager in 1999 and 2000, and the organization awarded her with its Tom | Thom Award for her volunteer service throughout the years.

In 2009, Disalvatore received a LACE Award at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center's An Evening With Women for her work in the community. She also was featured as one of Go Magazine's 100 Women We Love and in March was given a West Hollywood Women in Leadership Award.

Disalvatore also was on the board of directors at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and served as president of the board of directors of the Frontiers Foundation.

A native of Plymouth, Mass., Disalvatore played trumpet in the marching band at Miami Palmetto Senior High School in Florida and went on to study communications at Boston University. She came to Los Angeles after graduation.

Early in her career, Disalvatore was involved in the visual effects work for Dante's Peak (1997) and the Fox series The X-Files.

She wrote for such outlets as Clout, Curve, GayWired.com and here! and created the Smoking Cocktail, a monthly networking event to bring members of the LGBT film and film-loving community together.

Survivors include her sister Roanne and brother Carl. A memorial is being planned. Donations in her name can be made to Outfest, Point Foundation and/or the East Valley Animal Shelter.