Veteran publicist Eddie Michaels, whose clients included Chris Meledandri’s Illumination and Noah Wyle, died Thursday after battling brain cancer for several years.
He was 49.
“It is very difficult for me to speak at this moment and be articulate,” Meledandri said via email. “Eddie was an invaluable part of the creation of Illumination and a trusted friend and advisor to me and to many others at the company. He insisted on working through his illness and his treatment and his level of commitment and passion never wavered. I will never forget his generosity and spirit.”
The longtime PR man earned the friendship and respect of many journalists around Hollywood for his willingness to work with reporters collaboratively as opposed to combatively on behalf of current and former clients including Wyle, Anjelica Huston and Lou Diamond Phillips. Over the years, Michaels also represented thesps including Drew Barrymore, Jason Biggs and Jeremy Piven.
“Eddie Michaels was my longest and certainly one of the closest relationships I have had in this industry,” Phillips said in a statement. “He was my first and only publicist reaching back to the days before the release of “La Bamba,” a professional relationship that exceeded twenty-six years. I will be eternally grateful for his wisdom, his guidance and the enthusiasm that elevated and enriched my career and life. His honesty and integrity were an inspiration and the way he comported himself in daily life, showing respect and kindness to all, galvanized my belief that this industry need not be cynical and jaded. He was a dear friend and I will miss him greatly.”
Michaels began his career working with his mentor Joe Sutton at Freeman & Sutton. He founded Eddie Michaels & Associates in 1992, relaunching it as Insignia in 2004. Coming into the Beck Media fold broadened Todd Beck’s PR firm to include a roster of clients that leaned toward TV and digital companies, as well as non-profit orgs.
Michaels is survived by his wife, Lorin, and two children.