Bethlyn Hand died on February 14 from Alzheimer’s disease. She was the senior vice president of advertising and administration for the Motion Picture Association of America. She had lived 85 years.
Hand joined the Hollywood trade group shortly after MPA President Jack Valenti started his 37-year term in 1966. Valenti said in 2003, four years before his death in 2007 (as reported by Variety) –
“She was by my side at the very beginning of my tenure at the MPAA.”
“I got a lot of credit for what she did.”
Hand’s job with the MPAA was to make sure that marketing campaigns followed the rules of its rating program. Because of this, studio executives and producers would often meet with her to argue their cases.
In the 1990s, the Hollywood Reporter said that Hand was one of the most powerful women in Hollywood. Hand once remarked about her responsibilities –
“With the teenage movies, there’s always a lot more s*x that marketers want in the advertising than we will agree to. With a trailer, you’re a captive audience.”
On January 30, 1938, Hand was born. She grew up in Houston, Texas, and then went to the University of Texas to study journalism. In 1966, she moved to Washington, D.C., to work with Valenti there. In 1975, she moved to Los Angeles to run the advertising division of the MPAA.
There have been a number of other notable persons pass away thus far in the year 2023, and you may be aware of this fact:
- How Did Ryan Keeler, a UNLV Defensive Lineman Die?
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Hand-worked at the MPAA and on the Public Relations Coordinating Committee, which was in charge of answering questions from the press during the Oscars.
She was also a part of the Academy’s public relations group and was vice chairman of the California Film Commission. Hand said in a 2003 statement announcing her retirement –
“It has been a wonderfully rewarding career in which I have made long-lasting friendships.”
Hand is remembered by her brother and sister-in-law, Lloyd and Ann Hand, her three nieces, Bridget Taylor, Susan Hand, and Catherine Hand, her five great-nieces and nephews and her four great-great-nieces and nephews.
Pierce Bros. Westwood Village Mortuary will set up a funeral service for the person who died. The family of Hand has asked that donations be made to the Motion Picture and Television Fund or the Alzheimer’s Association to remember him.