Orison Marden, Veteran Industry Labor Relations Executive, Dies at 85

Courtesy of Marilyn Fischer
Orison Marden and Marilyn Fischer

He had a long career at CBS in radio and television before joining Columbia Pictures in 1981.

Orison Marden, a longtime labor relations executive for CBS and Columbia Pictures, has died. He was 85.

Marden died Tuesday of natural causes at his home in Sherman Oaks, his partner for the past 40 years, Marilyn Fischer, announced.

In 1981, Marden joined Columbia Pictures and Columbia Pictures Television as vp labor relations. Three years later, he was promoted to senior vp labor relations, filmed entertainment. He retired from the studio in 1988 and worked as an independent consultant through 1997.

Marden began working in sales at CBS Radio in New York in 1957.

After serving in a variety of production positions in radio and TV, he was promoted to assistant director of labor relations in 1967. Marden then worked as a director and then vice president of labor relations at CBS in Los Angeles from 1971-81.

Born in Scarsdale, N.Y., Marden was the son of Orison Swett Marden II, an attorney who served as president of the New York and American bar associations, and Virginia McAvoy.

His grandfather, Orison Swett Marden, was a well-known inspirational author who wrote about achieving success in life.

Marden graduated from Trinity College in Connecticut in 1953 with a bachelor's degree in history, then served as a special agent in the U.S. Army Counter-Intelligence Corps from 1953-55.

Fischer recently retired from a casting position at CBS Television. Marden's survivors also include his daughters Jennifer, Wende, Leslie, Melissa and Debra and grandchildren Lanie, Lindsay, John, Julia, Samantha and Emily.

There will be no funeral service. Donations may be made to the Motion Picture & Television Fund.