The Arthur Lyons Film Noir Festival suffered a grievous loss with the death of co-producer Marvin Paige last November.
Marvin became associated with the festival at its inception when he arranged for Anne Jeffreys and Gloria Stuart to be special guests back in 2001. He worked with the late Arthur Lyons and myself to arrange the appearances of many of the stars that have graced the stage of the Camelot Theatre over the past fourteen years.
No one knew more Golden Age celebrities and took greater care to represent their interests than Marvin. He combined his awesome Rolodex – it actually was a Rolodex -with a formidable tenaciousness that could chafe those who didn’t understand what he was about. Marvin’s zeal to attain what he thought was best for those he represented-whether they asked for it or not- came from his abiding devotion to a previous incarnation of Hollywood that always took care of its stars. For Marvin Paige, treating every guest with the utmost respect was a way of life.
Marvin’s career resume as a casting director is impressive: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Take the Money and Run, The Honkers, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and on television, Combat!, General Hospital, and Planet of the Apes among numerous other credits. The Motion Picture and Television archive that he maintained in his residence was stuffed with enough memorabilia to rival any other private collection in the world. His tireless work on behalf of the Motion Picture Academy, Cinecon, and the American Cinematheque spanned decades. What is not as well known were the good deeds Marvin performed during a lifetime in show business.
From casting an actor in a small part on a television episode in order to maintain his or her health insurance to inviting people to screenings and events- there wasn’t a cinema-related event in Hollywood that Marvin didn’t attend- he looked out for legions of people he met, befriended or worked with over the years, most of whom were not celebrities.
Marvin had a sense of humor second to none. His patter of puns and corny jokes were worthy of a vaudevillian and never bore any trace of malice. A colleague offered that Marvin Paige was Hollywood’s version of Broadway Danny Rose. He was truly an unforgettable character.
Marvin’s memorial at a standing room only Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood last January included tributes from numerous friends and associates. Afterwards film critic Leonard Maltin remarked to me: “Who are they going to call now to find a vintage star?” Who indeed. Marvin Paige was irreplaceable.
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