Ben Halpern, a longtime United Artists and Universal movie and TV publicist, died on Saturday. He was 99.
Born in 1921 on the Decrease East Facet of Manhattan, Halpern was the fourth and youngest youngster of Jewish immigrants from Tarnopol, central Europe. As a small youngster, he loved exploring town on his personal, amassing movie scraps from projectionists to make slide exhibits for his siblings. He additionally beloved going g to all the theaters in his neighborhood together with his mother and father.
This rising curiosity in cinema led Halpern to New York College’s nascent movie college, the place he left shortly after to enlist within the Military Air Corps. He was a sergeant within the Photographic Unit that educated troopers learn how to shoot and develop movie for aerial reconnaissance. He was additionally a recipient of a sharpshooter medal throughout his time as a publications editor. In 1945, Halpern graduated from New York College Movie College as a part of their firstclass.
From 1946-1949, Halpern launched a profession in movie as a journalist and Affiliate Editor for the day by day Unbiased Movie Journal. He was then a publicist within the New York workplace of Paramount from 1949-1952. He created campaigns for function movies reminiscent of “The Best Present On Earth,” “Sundown Boulevard,” “A Place In The Solar” and “Samson And Delilah.”
Halpern met and married Lois, the love of his life, Lois Jule Gordon, in 1950. They traveled all through post-war Europe collectively earlier than beginning a household. In 1952, he started to work for United Artists Tv in New York because the Director of Publicity and Promoting. Halpern, his spouse and their two younger youngsters relocated to Paris in 1955, the place United Artists employed him as Director of Movement Image Publicity and Promoting for Europe and the Center East. Halpern and his spouse incessantly hosted visiting movie folks. As a consultant for United Artists at movie festivals, Halpern developed promoting campaigns with main stars, together with Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn and Marlene Dietrich.
Halpern and his household returned to New York Metropolis within the fall of 1957, the place he labored for United Artists, Jim Mahoney & Associates, Filmways and in the end MCA Universal. He and Lois raised their 4 youngsters on the Higher West Facet of Manhattan. Halpern was identified in his neighborhood as an iconoclast who rode his extra-large English postman’s bicycle in all 4 seasons to his workplace in midtown.
Although he remained a passionate New Yorker at coronary heart, he relocated to California together with his household in 1973 after Universal promoted him to Vice President of Publicity and Promoting for Tv in Los Angeles. Throughout his time as Vice President of Particular Initiatives at Universal, Halpern was very concerned with tv sequence reminiscent of “Columbo,” “Miami Vice,” “Homicide She Wrote,” “The Rockford Information,” “Magnum P.I.,” “Iron Sides,” “Kojak” and the movie-of-the-week “Duel,” amongst many others. He additionally served as a governor of the Tv Academy and a founding board member of I.C.A.N. Associates. He retired in 1988.
A few of Halpern’s most noteworthy achievements emerged when he turned impressed to take a particular curiosity within the movies and initiatives that touched his moral core and had distinctive worth past the final viewing public. As an example, he organized for the movie “Farewell To Manzanar” to be proven to the U.S. Congress in 1976, which introduced consideration to the abuses that occurred inside American Japanese internment camps. 12 years later, Congress handed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 that granted reparations to Japanese Individuals that have been interned by the U.S. authorities throughout World Conflict II. Halpern was additionally an instrumental participant in serving to the Blacklist Challenge put up a monument devoted to Black-listed filmmakers and writers on the campus of the College of Southern California.
Ben Halpern had two eternal passions in life: love of household and love of movie and theater. Famend for his humorousness and expertise as a storyteller, Halpern had an amazing reminiscence of all issues associated to movie historical past and manufacturing. Till the top of his life, he would usually share tales and anecdotes from his time working within the business.
He’s survived by his spouse of 71 years, Lois Jule Halpern, his youngsters Amy Halpern-Lebrun (David Lebrun), Nancy Halpern Ibrahim (Mahmood Ibrahim), Andrew James Halpern (Rebecca Lobl) and Nora Halpern Brougher (Kerry Brougher), by six loving grandchildren (Arwa Sara and Adnan Mandela Ibrahim; Emily Clara and Julia Gordon Brougher; and Cooper Jay and Grace Annabelle Halpern; and by his nephew Alfred Tauber of New York Metropolis.
Because of the pandemic, there might be a personal burial. The household might be toasting him and celebrating his reminiscence on February 5, which might have been his one centesimal birthday. He was broadly admired and revered for his intelligence, wit, honesty, compassion and abiding dedication to social justice. His lovely presence might be missed.