Longtime Oscar spokesman retiring

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — You may not know his name, but you certainly know his work.
A little something called the Academy Awards. John Pavlik is the official spokesman for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. And after 39 Oscar shows, he’s calling it quits. ...

During his four decades in Hollywood, Pavlik, a white-haired man with smiling blue eyes, has met icons from Charlie Chaplin to Oprah. He’s seen the Academy Awards grow from ‘‘low key and laid back’’ to larger than life. He’s watched today’s over-the-top celebrity world evolve, from a front-row seat.

‘‘I’ve enjoyed every single solitary minute of it,’’ says the 67-year-old.

Jack Valenti, former chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, calls Pavlik ‘‘a repository of movie history.’’

‘‘John is a custodian of memories,’’ he says. ‘‘He has seen so much of what goes on in this dazzling and extraordinary arena we call Hollywood.’’

Pavlik’s first Academy Awards was in 1969. As a junior public-relations executive for the Producers Association, it was his job to arrange escorts to bring Oscar winners backstage to the press room.

‘‘I was right smack-dab backstage when winners were coming off the stage,’’ he says.
Welcome to Hollywood.

The Iowan, who originally came to Los Angeles to work as a newspaper reporter, was in the same prime position the following year when John Wayne won his Oscar.

‘‘He came off stage with tears in his eyes,’’ Pavlik says. ‘‘I was absolutely just blown away by this tough guy being so emotional about what he had just won.’’

Another memorable moment, he recalled, came in 1978, the 50th Academy Awards. Janet Gaynor, the first best-actress winner, signed Pavlik’s Oscar poster.

‘‘I’ve got it hanging in my office,’’ he says. ‘‘I always thought it would be fun to have Diane Keaton, who won that year, come and sign it too, but I’ve never had the guts to ask.’’


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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on February 14, 2007 5:02 PM.

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