Longtime Movie Lobbyist Valenti Dead at 85

Hollywood's man in Washington pioneered ratings system
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2007 7:39 AM CDT

(Newser) – Despite being neither movie star nor studio exec, Jack Valenti was one of Hollywood's most influential figures. An era ended Thursday when the longtime president of the film industry's trade association died at his home in Washington. The veteran lobbyist, who also served in the Johnson administration, was 85 and had suffered a stroke in March.

Valenti's enduring legacy is the system of ratings the Motion Picture Industry Association of America instituted under his leadership. The head of the MPAA from 1966 to 2004, he is also remembered for his hostility to new technology—he once compared the VCR to the Boston Strangler—and vehement defense of copyrights.