Tom Sherak, LA’s film czar, dies

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Tom Sherak, the head of the Los Angeles Entertainment Industry and Production Office. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Tom Sherak, the head of the Los Angeles Entertainment Industry and Production Office. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

Tom Sherak, the former Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president, died today at age 68 of prostate cancer.

“He died at home surrounded by his family giving him hugs, kisses and love,” according to a statement from his family. “Tom is, was and always will  be our loving husband, daddy, papa, brother, friend and ‘go-to guy. He blessed this Earth for 68 incredible years, and he will be missed every single day.”

Sherak was appointed by LA Mayor Eric Garcetti as the city’s film czar back in September, and he told KCRW’s Steve Chiotakis about how he plans to convince Hollywood studios to keep film and TV production here in Los Angeles.

“They’re looking for as much incentive to spend the dollars they spend, to make the movies wherever they are,” Sherak said. “The bottom line is, you’ve got to sit with them, you have to hear what they have to say. ‘What will keep you here? How can we help that happen? And how can we entice you to want to stay here, in the place where you live?”

Garcetti today posted this to Twitter:

Cheryl Boone Isaacs, current president of the Academy, said in a statement, “In the more than 30 years I’ve known Tom, his passionate support of and excitement about the motion picture business, the Academy, his family and friends never wavered. He was truly larger than life, and he will be missed.”

As a partner at Revolution Films, Sherak helped supervise the release of films including “Black Hawk Down” and “Anger Management.”

He worked for 20th Century Fox for 17 years, overseeing the release of “Home Alone,” “Independence Day,” “Wall Street” and “Aliens,” among other films.