Publicist Eddie Michaels Remembered by Friends and Family at Funeral Service
The PR exec, who died on Thursday after a battle with brain cancer, is remembered as a professional, Dodgers fan and family man. Said actor and longtime client Noah Wyle: "He was my compass and a companion in unknown territories."
Friends, family and Hollywood figures gathered on Sunday to pay tribute to Eddie Michaels at funeral services held at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park in Los Angeles.
The 49-year-old publicity executive, who died on Thursday after a battle with brain cancer, was remembered as a professional who gave wise counsel to clients, a lifelong Angeleno who loved the Dodgers and Bruce Springsteen, but, above all else, a family man who treasured his time with his wife, Lorin, and two young children, 9-year-old daughter Dylan and 7-year-old son Matthew.
In one of the occasion's many tender moments, Rabbi Steven Leder of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple assured the children, "Your daddy loved you, and he will always love you." As for Michaels' professional life, Leder said, "Eddie always took the high road, and he helped a lot of us do the same. He was a great publicist, and he was a great rabbi, too. Rabbi simply means teacher, and Eddie taught so many of us so many important things about being a mensch."
Actor Noah Wyle, a longtime client -- first met Michaels when he was just 23 and Michaels was 29 -- testified, "What I received [from Eddie] was his wise counsel, his creativity. He was my compass and a companion in unknown territories." Wyle recalled that when he tried to explain his friend's death to his own 10-year-old son, Owen, he had "a moment of inspiration" and cited the movie Star Wars, in which, after his death, Obi-Wan Kenobi returns as a voice in Luke's head to offer crucial guidance. "That's what Eddie's going to do," he said.
Brad Ross, another longtime friend, remembered Michaels as a devoted family man as well as "a sports freak" who loved the Dodgers and the Lakers and concluded by saying, "Eddie was a brother to me, a consistent voice, a steady hand, an eager companion."
Thanking their friends, family members, colleagues and care-workers for the support they offered while Michaels faced his illness, his wife, Lorin, said, "People laugh off L.A. and Hollywood and the unreality of it all, but they do not know Eddie's Hollywood and they certainly don't know our L.A. It's full of courageous, caring and loving people. Nobody knows that better than Dylan and Matthew and me. And Eddie knew that well, very well."
She paid tribute to her husband, saying, "I got so much of my strength from Eddie -- his eyes, smile and soul." She added, "I now feel like a ship without a sail."
Michaels began his career at publicity firm Freeman & Sutton, founding his own shingle in 1992 called Eddie Michaels & Associates, re-launching it as Insignia in 2004. Insignia, in turn, was acquired by Beck Media & Marketing in December. The overflow crowd at the service, many with young children in tow, reflected his wide circle of clients and friends. Among those present were Hawk Koch and Mark Gordon, co-presidents of the Producers Guild of America, which Michaels represented for many years; ICM's Chris Silbermann; 3 Arts Entertainment's Michael Rotenberg; Nerdist CEO Peter Levin; Guggenheim Digital Media CEO Ross Levinsohn; THR publisher Lynne Segall; publicist Zach Rosenfield, an alumnus of Insignia; and KTLA entertainment reporter Sam Rubin.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Wilshire Boulevard Temple, 3663 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, Ca. 90010, or to the Johnnie L. Cochran Brain Tumor Center (in honor of Jeremy Rudnick/Memory Eddie Michaels); 127 S. San Vincente Blvd. #8600, Los Angeles, Ca. 90048.