Sherak and his wife Madeleine with an Oscar.
Tom Sherak, Mayor Eric Garcetti's designated ambassador between the film industry, City Hall and Sacremento, died today after a long battle with prostate cancer. His family released this statement through the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles. He was a former president of the Academy. Sherak was 68.
To the entertainment community,
With broken hearts we want to share with you the news that Tom Sherak passed away today after a long 12 year battle with prostate cancer. He died at home surrounded by his family giving him hugs, kisses, and love.
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.
Tom lived his life as an open book. He opened his heart and let the world in, and anyone who was lucky enough to know him knew first hand the power of his love. He gave everything he had to help others, regardless of whether or not he knew them. Tom is a true hero in our lives who has a star on the sidewalk and wings to fly.
We love him so very much.”
Garcetti appointed Sherak in September to direct the mayor's Entertainment Industry and Production Office. Garcetti's statement:
I am devastated to learn of the passing of my close friend and advisor Tom Sherak. Tom was a true Hollywood original, moving up the ladder to promote blockbusters, running the Oscars and having a bulging rolodex filled with not just A-list contacts, but so many close friends who were smitten by his humor, drive, and spirit.
In just a few short months, Tom laid a policy foundation that my Administration will stand on for the next four years. Tom's work will continue through my office and the many charities to which he devoted so much of himself.
Tom was a public servant in the truest sense long before he joined my administration. He will be deeply missed."
The Academy's press statement:
The Academy is deeply saddened by the passing of our beloved former president Tom Sherak.
Sherak joined the Executives Branch of the Academy in 1983. He served three terms on the Board of Governors, from August 2003 through July 2012, the last three as President.
He was most recently named Los Angeles film czar by Mayor Eric Garcetti to support local film production and serve as a liaison between state lawmakers and the entertainment industry.
Sherak’s remarkable five-decade career has seen him at the pinnacle of motion picture marketing, distribution and production at companies including Revolution Studios, 20th Century Fox and Paramount Pictures.
He was founder and chairman of the MS Hope Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting the needs of the Multiple Sclerosis community.
His passion and tireless energy impacted the Academy in countless ways – especially his support of our new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.