Geoffrey Ammer, a longtime Hollywood movie marketing executive who grew up in Toledo, died Sunday in St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 62.
Mr. Ammer suffered an heart attack at his home and was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
During a 30-year career, Mr. Ammer held top marketing positions with the major movie studios, including 20th Century Fox, Cinergi Productions, Disney, Revolution Studios, and Sony.
Tom Sherak, a friend, former 20th Century Fox colleague, and former president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said Mr. Ammer was among the industry's respected entertainment executives.
"Geoff worked hard from the first day I met him in 1983. He loved what he did. He loved this business," Mr. Sherak said. "He was a tough, fair executive who taught the people who work with him. They became like his family. He was as loyal as any human I have ever met for the company he was with. There was no task too difficult for him. If he didn't know about something he learned about it."
For the last year, Mr. Ammer headed his own Clarius Entertainment, a marketing and distribution firm. The Beverly Hills company had numerous projects in early stages but had not yet financed and released a film.
Mr. Sherak said his friend was determined to make the company work.
"They were finally getting ready to start. There is an animated movie that will be released in December. He was finally starting to enjoy the fruits of his labor in putting that company together," he said.
Born in 1950 to George and Helen Ammer, Mr. Ammer graduated in 1968 from Start High School. He attended the University of Florida at Gainesville, where he received a degree in business in 1977, and moved that year to Los Angeles.
In a story published in the Blade in 1994, Mr. Ammer said that a month after he arrived, he met someone whose uncle worked at Paramount Pictures. "I watched a Mork and Mindy taping and got the urge to be in the business," he said.
Mr. Sherak and Mr. Ammer met at 20th Century Fox in 1983, when Mr. Ammer was an assistant to the media buyer. However, he wanted to get involved in marketing and was give a position in publicity. Mr. Sherak said he rose up the ranks in the marketing department to become senior vice president of marketing.
While at the studio, he worked on the campaigns for Die Hard, Die Harder, Predator, Predator 2, Home Alone, and My Cousin Vinny.
He left Fox in 1994 to join Cinergi Productions and head that studio's worldwide marketing.
He then jumped to the Walt Disney Co. to become co-president of marketing.
While at Disney, he worked on the releases of The Rock, 101 Dalmatians, Mulan, The Insider, Armageddon, A Bug's Life, and The Sixth Sense.
He went to Revolution Studios in 2000 to head marketing and distribution. He was put in charge of marketing for Sony in 2001, and worked on the releases of Spider-Man, Anger Management, Maid in Manhattan, 13 Going on 30, and Hellboy.
Mr. Ammer was picked by Marvel Studios to serve as its president of worldwide marketing in 2008. At the studio he was involved with marketing Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, and Thor. He also worked for Relativity Media, heading its marketing department,
Mr. Sherak said Mr. Ammer never forgot his Toledo roots. "He was so proud of making it and being from Toledo," Mr. Sherak said.
Surviving are his wife, Mia Ricchiuti Ammer; son, Geoffrey George II; daughter, Annie, and sisters, Connie Ulmer and Bonnie Ammer.
A memorial service is to be held at 11 a.m. Friday in the Ballroom at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons Hotel.
A reception is to immediately follow.
- Hjalmer Roe: 1931-2015; Toledoan opened health food store, studied philosophy
- Dr. Robert J. Gosling (1922-2015): Rehabilitation specialist holistic medicine leader
- William G. Kisseberth (1934-2015): Preacher helped give back stolen collection
- Robert L. Beck (1931-2015): Ex-Fremont Ross star devoted life to veterans
- Carolyn Sockrider (1926-2015): Teacher in Toledo schools encouraged students’ creativity