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September 14, 2011

Maria La Magra, Longtime Publicity Executive

La Magra worked for many yeas in the home video divisions of various studios and was also active as a consultant.

Maria La Magra, a longtime publicity executive who served as vice president of publicity at what is now Universal Studios Home Entertainment, and later became a public relations consultant, died August 7, 2011, in Sherman Oaks, California. She was 66.

According to news reports, the cause was cancer.

La Magra oversaw publicity campaigns and other press duties at Universal’s home entertainment unit for 11 years, ending in 2002.

She began work in home video in 1984 when she joined Embassy Home Entertainment as director of public relations. After a period in the consumer productions division at Daniel J. Edelman Public Relations, she joined Trimark Pictures as director in 1989, and went on to become vide president of theatrical and home video publicity.

In 1991 La Magra joined MCA Home Video, where she was a key part of the launch of the Jurassic Park franchise and was credited with boosting Universal's entry into the DVD market.

After leaving Universal she was a consultant for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. In 2005 she joined Nadia Bronson & Associates as a publicity consultant.

La Magra also some performers, including Dee Wallace and the late Dixie Carter.

A native of Plainfield, New Jersey, she grew up in the Bronx and later relocated to Los Angeles, where she graduated from UCLA in 1973.

La Magra was active in the Entertainment AIDS Alliance, where she served continuously on the board of directors for nearly 20 years, most recently as secretary.

Her last public appearance was at an EAA event in June. She also recently served on the board of directors of the Entertainment Publicists Professional Society.

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