Our friend Marcia died last week at the age of 95. She was the first woman to become vice-president of a major Hollywood studio; a glass ceiling smasher who climbed almost to the top and didn't pull the ladder up after herself, she was one of the worlds' great encouragers, especially to other women.
There was a beautiful tribute to her in Wednesday's New York Times--here's a link.
We go back a long way with Marcia. Remember my blog about discovering the rhino of the Plaza of Musee D'Orsay? How I said it was a magical moment, partly because we were in Paris, about to meet friends for lunch? Marcia was one of those friends.
Here's a moment from that trip-Marcia and Arthur sitting on the tomb of Simone Signoret and Yves Montand at Pere LaChaise Cemetery--the most fun I've ever had in a graveyard. There was a lot of urban hiking on that excursion and Marcia set the pace.
If you've never driven across the United States, and you find the time and get the chance I urge you to do it. I've done it five times and each time was full of great moments.
Arthur and Marcia drove to Los Angeles from New York in June of 1989. Marcia, always careful with her money, suggested they share motel rooms on the way. I quickly vetoed that notion and Marcia took it as a great compliment. Arthur is still dining out on his tales of Travels with Marcia. She couldn't see filling the tank with high test--"But it's nine cents more a gallon! You know how that adds up?"
She could talk about anything and was always entertaining, always encouraging, always looking to make things nicer, more fun. She was an avid reader of my blog and had lots of suggestions about who else I should send it to.
Coming to dinner once she said, "You're serving buffet? We're sitting on the couch? No, No, much better to sit at the table." and I set the table, and yes, it was much nicer.
She'd say, "You could use a little scarf with that outfit--maybe a pin?" And she was right.
You can see her in a documentary, directed by Anne Goursaud, titled,
"A Classy Broad: Marcia's Adventures in Hollywood"
Joe Morganstern in the Wall Street Journal said,
"It’s a love story in which an all-American Jewish girl from Texas brings her love of life to New York, her love of reading to the publishing world, and her love of stories to Hollywood, where her indomitable spirit—this is still Marcia I’m talking about, not a heroine played by Katharine Hepburn or Bette Davis—sustains her during the downs but mostly ups of her own golden age."
Marcia either produced or developed movies that you'll remember like Rocky, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Carrie, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Ironweed, Bound for Glory, Coming Home, The Big Chill and more.
Here's her Christmas card from the year she worked on Hamburger Hill.
Marcia, we will always miss you, but we're full of gratitude for the time we shared; you showed the way to a life well-lived.
August 19, 2021