John Dartigue, a 22-year Warner Bros executive who rose to VP Publicity and supervised campaigns for such hits as The Fugitive and The Dark Knight and after starting his career at United Artists and working on the first 10 James Bonds pics, has died. He was 82.
A family spokesperson told Deadline that Dartigue died November 9 in Los Angeles after a sudden illness.
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Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Dartigue’s family moved to the U.S. when he was 5 and would become a U.S. citizen in 1973. He launched his career in 1965 at United Artists through Robert Benjamin, the company’s co-chairman and a family friend. He briefly was a reader in the story department before serving as a trainee in what was then called Foreign Advertising & Publicity, under Ashley Boone. He then switched over to the domestic side of publicity, where he rose through the ranks as a publicist before being upped to UA’s Director of Publicity in 1975 and serving briefly as VP Advertising & Publicity in 1978.
While at United Artists, Dartigue supervised the publicity campaigns for its three back-to-back Best Picture Oscar-winners in the mid-’70s: Miloš Forman’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Sylvester Stallone starrer Rocky and Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. He also worked publicity for the first 10 James Bond films, the four Beatles films, Clint Eastwood’s Dollar spaghetti Westerns, Network, Carrie, Apocalypse Now, Coming Home, That’s Entertainment! and multiple pics each by Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman and François Truffaut.
He moved from New York to California in 1978 and joined Warner Bros in Burbank as a project executive in the marketing department. In 1984, he was appointed VP Publicity and remained in the post until his 2001 retirement.
During his WB tenure, Dartigue supervised the publicity campaigns for Best Picture winners Midnight Cowboy and In the Heat of the Night; franchises including Batman, Ace Ventura and Mad Max; along with such hit films as The Perfect Storm, The Fugitive, Interview with the Vampire, Malcolm X, The Green Mile, The Color Purple, New Jack City, Blade Runner, GoodFellas, The Witches of Eastwick, Caddyshack, 10, Arthur, The Accidental Tourist, The Pelican Brief, Presumed Innocent and The Pledge.
When Dartigue retired from Warners in June 2001, then-Domestic Theatrical Marketing President Brad Ball said: “Throughout his distinguished career at Warner Bros. Pictures, John supervised publicity campaigns for many of our most significant films. His leadership, expertise and impressive filmmaker relationships made him a highly respected and invaluable member of our team. The body of work and caliber of films John oversaw speak for themselves.”
Survivors include cousins residing in the U.S., Haiti, Jamaica, Germany and Transylvania.
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