General News

Former Oscars boss Tom Sherak loses cancer battle

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Jan 28, 2014 | 8:22pm EST

Former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak has lost his battle with prostate cancer, aged 68. The movie executive, who served as President of the Academy from 2009 to 2012, died at his home in Calabasas, California on Tuesday (28Jan14), surrounded by family members, who confirmed the sad news in a statement. It reads: "With broken hearts we want to share with you the news that Tom Sherak passed away today after a long 12 year battle with prostate cancer. He died at home surrounded by his family giving him hugs, kisses, and love. "Tom is, was, and always will be, our loving husband, daddy, papa, brother, friend, and 'Go to Guy'. He blessed this earth for 68 incredible years, and he will be missed every single day. "Tom lived his life as an open book. He opened his heart and let the world in, and anyone who was lucky enough to know him knew first hand the power of his love. He gave everything he had to help others, regardless of whether or not he knew them. Tom is a true hero in our lives... We love him so very much." Last year (Sep13), new Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed Sherak as the city’s first film czar and tasked him with trying to find a way to increase production in Hollywood. That was to be his last post in the industry, 43 years after he began his career at Paramount Studios. He made his name at 20th Century Fox in the 1980s, rising to the post of chairman of 20th Century Fox Domestic Film Group. He oversaw hits like Commando, Aliens, The Fly, Predator, Home Alone and the first three Die Hard movies, as well as the Star Wars trilogy special edition and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Sherak was also a partner at Revolution Studios, where he helped bring films like Black Hawk Down and Rocky Balboa to the big screen. Away from Hollywood, Sherak was chairman of the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation and a board member for the Motion Picture and Television Fund. A charity kingpin in Los Angeles, Sherak also helped to raise millions for the Southern California Multiple Sclerosis Society among other favourite causes. He was set to receive the Will Rogers Foundation’s 2014 Pioneer of the Year Award in March (14) at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. The honour will now be presented posthumously.

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