Karen Sortito, Entertainment Tie-in Specialist, Dies

Hollywood Marketing Veteran Worked on James Bond Franchise in Late '90s

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LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) -- Karen Sortito, an accomplished entertainment-marketing executive who worked on the James Bond franchise in the late '90s, died on Dec. 13 in New York. The cause was cancer. She was 49.

Karen Sortito
Karen Sortito
Ms. Sortito made her mark as head of worldwide promotions for MGM/United Artists, where she oversaw marketing partnerships with brands such as BMW for the theatrical relaunch of the James Bond franchise in 1995 with "GoldenEye" and its 1997 follow-up, "Tomorrow Never Dies." Prior to that, she held senior positions at 20th Century Fox and Morgan Creek Productions in promotions and product placement.

In 2002, she joined Spyglass Entertainment as exec VP-worldwide marketing, where she oversaw marketing for films including "Bruce Almighty" and "Seabiscuit." Most recently she served as general manager-entertainment for NYC & Co., the marketing partnerships agency for New York.

Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and Ms. Sortito's boss at 20th Century Fox and Revolution Studios, said in a statement, "Karen was a dear family friend, and I mourn her loss deeply. She was a true pioneer in the world of branding and it was an honor to work with her. She was somehow able to be both the consummate professional and the most outrageous person in the room at the same time -- and I loved her for that. She fought cancer with dignity, poise, grace and courage -- and never an ounce of self-pity. I will miss her spirit daily."

Ms. Sortito is survived by her mother, Phyllis Sortito, and sisters Mary Sortito and Diane Ritucci, her brother-in-law Louis Ritucci and two nephews. Details on memorial services to be held in New York and Los Angeles will be announced soon.

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