Kirk Douglas, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Steven Spielberg were among the mourners at former Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) President Jack Valenti‘s funeral in Washington, D.C., yesterday.
The Hollywood giants joined top politicians like John Kerry, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, among others, to pay tribute to the 85-year-old, who died last week after suffering complications from a stroke in March.
Valenti traversed the worlds of Hollywood and politics–before serving as MPAA President, he served as a leading White House publicist for John F. Kennedy and assistant to his presidential successor Lyndon B. Johnson.
He was partly responsible for handling the press during President John F. Kennedy’s ill-fated trip to Dallas in 1963.
At yesterday’s Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle service, mourners read selections from Valenti‘s memoir, This Time, This Place, which will be published in June.
And Kirk Douglas, a fellow stroke victim, spoke fondly of his late friend.
The film veteran said, “If you were Jack‘s friend, your troubles became his troubles. When the time comes for me to be upstairs waiting for St. Peter to see me, I expect Jack to find me and bring me to the big man.”
Valenti is to be interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., next week.
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