Famed Hollywood Publicist Nanci Ryder Dies Aged 67 – Nanci Ryder, the longtime Hollywood publicist, who co-founded Baker/Winokur/Ryder (BWR) Public Relations more than three decades ago, has died at her home in Los Angeles on Thursday.
Famed Hollywood Publicist Nanci Ryder Dies Aged 67 | Cause Of Death:
Nanci Ryder, the longtime Hollywood publicist and PR agency exec whose clients included Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, Sarah Jessica Parker and Michael J. Fox, died Thursday afternoon at age 67 following a six-year battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Ryder was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2014, prompting her to step down from BWR.
Nanci Ryder lost her ability to speak, walk and more but was adamant about keeping up the fight against ALS however she could — mostly using a tablet to communicate.
ALS is a degenerative neurological disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in which nerve cells gradually break down, eventually affecting all muscles and leading to full paralysis, while the mind remains active.
Ryder went public with her diagnosis in October 2014 and told press — communicating by means of a tablet — that she would dedicate the rest of her life to raising awareness of the disease and finding a cure for it.
Her circle managed to raise much-needed funds for the ALS Association Golden West Chapter via annual Walk to Defeat ALS events, managing to pull $820,000 (£650k) in the fight.
Nanci Ryder’s funeral will have to be kept private, due to coronavirus, but a memorial service for her many friends, clients, and coworkers will take place at some later date, to be announced.
Nanci Ryder, Co-Founder Of BWR, Died Of Motor Neuron Disease ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease:
Nanci Ryder, who established Nanci Ryder Public Relations in 1984, worked with clients including Paul Reiser, Helen Hunt, Robert Downey Jr., Woody Harrelson, Sarah Jessica Parker and Paul Rodriguez.
After successfully operating her business for four years, In 1987, she teamed with Larry Winokur and Paul Baker to form Baker/Winokur/Ryder Public Relations and went on to guide the careers of such stars as Renée Zellweger, Reese Witherspoon, Viggo Mortensen, Jennifer Lopez, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mariah Carey, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Garner and others.
Nanci Ryder also served as a link between the worlds of talent and fashion, advising design houses including Prada, Gucci and Armani.
Born in Orlando, Ryder spent her youth on Long Island and studied psychology and anthropology at C.W. Post College and moved to Los Angeles in 1979, landing a job as a talent agent at David Shapira & Associates.
In 1979 she moved to Los Angeles, where she became a talent agent in 1979 at David Shapira Agency in Los Angeles, then joined Goldberg-Ehrlich Public Relations and Management, focusing on network TV.
This led to an account executive position at Michael Levine Public Relations, where she represented clients including Demi Moore and formed a relationship with Michael J. Fox that lasted many decades.
When Nanci Ryder was diagnosed with breast cancer back in the late ’90s, she lost all of her hair but refused to ever wear a wig.
“My favorite story is when we were getting ready for a red-carpet event and she was frustrated thinking about how to cover up that she had cancer. She couldn’t be bothered,” Zellweger told the Hollywood Reporter. “The wig went flying across the hotel room, and we got in the car.”
In 2018 Nanci Ryder was honoured with the ALS Hero Award, with Young and the Restless star Don Diamont reading a speech from the publicist on her behalf.
Ryder married and divorced once in her 20s and had no children, siblings or relatives.
Nanci Ryder is survived by stepbrother, Dr. Stanley Schwartz, and, according to her obituary: “She also leaves behind her beloved dogs Oreo and Manolo and cats Fluffy, Pants and Thelma and many friends.”