Gerry Lewis, Steven Spielberg’s Marketing Consultant, Dies at 91
Art and Experience: Gerry Lewis, Steven Spielberg’s longtime international marketing consultant, died on Jan. 5 in London. He was 91.
The London native worked for more than 50 years in marketing, publicity and distribution. He was involved with campaigns for “The Spy Who Came in From the Cold,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Love Story,” “The Godfather,” and Spielberg’s “Duel,” “Jaws,” “E.T.” and “Schindler’s List.”
“Gerry was a wealth of knowledge; he loved movies and filmmakers, and his understanding and respect of culture and the diversity of cultures made him invaluable to the distribution of movies internationally,” Spielberg said. “He was really there for me before anyone else and truly was the first member of the ‘movie family’ that grew around me after ‘Duel.’ He was an integral part of so many unforgettable moments of my career and I will miss his wonderful smile and his sage advice.”
Lewis broke into the entertainment business at the British PR firm Mayfair, Mullally & Warner, working with Frankie Laine, Vera Lynn and Guy Mitchell. He was a unit publicist for the Rank Organisation for six years, then worked for British Lion, Paramount Pictures and Cinema International Corporation. Lewis became a champion of Spielberg’s 1971 thriller “Duel” by promoting it in international markets with Spielberg around Europe — the young filmmaker’s first time outside of the United States.
Lewis is survived by his wife Sheridan, sons Paul and Tom, sister Shirley, grandsons Max and Charlie, daughter-in-law Sandy, step-children Kevin and Jessica, and step-granddaughters Agnes and Elsa. He is also survived by his former wives Estelle Lewis and Val Lyon. Donations can be made in his memory to the Marie-Curie Hospice in Hampstead.