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Publicity executive Maurice Segal, who crafted campaigns for classic films, dies at 99

Longtime publicity and advertising executive Maurice Segal.
(Laura Stegman)

Former public relations and advertising executive Maurice Segal, who oversaw the publicity campaigns for a slew of classic films such as “Some Like It Hot,” “The Apartment,” “The Misfits” and “West Side Story,” died Oct. 18 at age 99.

A former member of the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Segal died at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, according to his daughter Laura Stegman.

Born in New York, where he graduated from City College, Segal first got a foothold in the film industry in 1941 as a writer at 20th Century Fox. After serving in the Army during World War II, Segal went on to join Century Theatres and worked as a publicist for Paramount Pictures, RKO Pictures and J. Arthur Rank.

In 1957, Segal relocated to Los Angeles to work at United Artists, where he eventually became West Coast director of advertising and publicity. Over his ensuing decades in PR, Segal would serve as studio publicity director for Universal Pictures and National General Pictures, as vice president at Taft Entertainment and as a partner in Max E. Youngstein and Associates, helping craft campaigns for such films as “Judgment at Nuremberg,” “Tom Jones” and “Little Big Man.”

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In 1974, Segal launched his own publicity and marketing firm, Maurice E. Segal Co., boasting a roster of clients that included the trade magazine the Hollywood Reporter, the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, the American Film Institute, Filmation Studios and Avco Embassy Pictures. In the 1980s, Segal and his wife, marketing executive Claire Segal, formed Segal Co., which represented such cultural institutions as the Los Angeles Music Center, L.A. Opera, Center Theatre Group and the Pasadena Symphony.

In addition to his wife of 68 years, Segal is survived by his daughters, Laura and Susan, and grandson Benjamin.


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