Arthur Manson, a leading film executive whose career in marketing and distribution encompassed numerous Oscar-winning films, and from the 1940s until his retirement in 2017, died peacefully at his home in Riverdale on May 14, 2018.
He was 90.
Born in Brooklyn in 1928, he was a graduate of City College of New York. He followed his brother Alan into the entertainment business as an “advance agent” for Laurence Olivier’s legendary version of “Henry V” in 1948.
He served in the U.S. Army’s Division 1 immediately after World War II in the Allied-occupied Germany, where he was a reporter for Star and Stripes.
He rose to become a sought-after advisor and mentor to Hollywood movers and shakers, including Oliver Stone, Scott Rudin, Miramax, the Weinstein Co., Joseph E. Levine, and Stanley Kubrick.
In a career that spanned Hollywood’s golden era, he was responsible for the marketing and distribution of such films as “Walking Tall,” “Platoon,” “JFK,” “Hotel Rwanda,” “Shakespeare in Love,” “Cinema Paradiso,” “The Great Santini,” “Angela’s Ashes,” “The Cider House Rules” and “Slumdog Millionaire.” He brought innovative strategies and techniques to film marketing.
He worked for and with some of Hollywood’s biggest studios and entertainment figures, including MGM, Samuel Goldwyn Productions, Stanley Kramer Productions, Columbia Pictures, Dino de Laurentis, Twentieth Century Fox, BCP (Cox Enterprises), and Warner Bros. He was responsible for the worldwide rollout of Stanley Warner’s ultra-widescreen Cinerama films.
He became vice president of marketing and distribution for Warner Bros. Worldwide in 1976.
He oversaw the marketing of “All the President’s Men,” “A Star is Born” (starring Barbra Streisand) and “The Enforcer” (starring Clint Eastwood), among others.
Guided by an unwavering sense of ethics and enthusiasm, he later founded his own consulting company, Cinemax Marketing and Distribution Corp., with offices in New York and Los Angeles. The company was later renamed CineManson. In that role, he consulted with Oliver Stone, Rudin, the Kennedy/Marshall Co., and the Weinstein brothers, among others.
He founded the New York events committee of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — the industry group best known for the annual Oscars ceremony. He hosted the annual Oscars night party in New York City, and served as chairman of the events committee from 1989 to 2004.
He was married for 65 years to Florence Sando Manson, a pioneering newscaster in Pittsburgh radio and television. She preceded him in death in 2013 at 95.
They lived in Riverdale for 60 years. He was a longtime member of the Riverdale Yacht Club and the Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel.
He is survived by a daughter, Cynthia Manson (and husband Jeffrey Faville); and a son, Anthony Sando Manson (and his wife, Angela North Manson); and grandchildren James, Catherine, Daniel, William, Timothy.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Calvary Fund, 1740 Eastchester Road, Bronx, N.Y., 10461, in memory of Arthur Manson.