This legendary Hollywood flack died today. He was old school: he actually believed that journalists were important. And he never lost his passion for the business.
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This article was printed from http://www.deadline.com/2008/05/rip-warren-cowan/
A legend indeed. RIP.
Oh gosh RIP Mr Cowan, a wonderful man!
Amazing man who trained so many of Hollywood’s publicists and executives. His love for show business was without peer. He also respected the press, and was very aware not to cross boundaries which other people seemed to be breaking down.
He was the last of a breed. A wonderful man.
He was my first boss – what a character. His loss is immeasurable. He was all that was great about old Hollywood. I’ll miss ya…and we’ll never be able to go to the Playboy Mansion together.
He pretty much invented modern PR, understood how to protect his clients, and figured out ways to use the media to their advantage. He also understood that some clients should actually not speak to the press, but should instead remain aloof and/or mysterious (a tactic that more stars might consider today). He was a brilliant, quiet giant in this business.
Warren Cowan built an industry, trained the leaders of the public relations field and never had a bad thing to say about anyone. Good lessons for all.
Stephen Collins, you likewise seem to be such a decent man, underused as an actor, and by far one of the best looking men ever on tv.
Wow, shocking news…Warren Cowan is where I got my start in Public Relations. He was indeed a legend and deserves to be honored for his years of work in the entertainment industry.
When I first started with Mr Cowan he said to me, “Scott, you want to learn PR? Pull up a chair and have a seat next to me and see how it is done!”
He was a great man and a wealth of knowledge to me and I will forever be thankful for my time working with him.
In the great words of the late Warren Cowan…”take a bow, a deep one,” he will be missed
I learned much from Warren, working at R&C in the late 1980s; even as his power in the firm was diminished by then after the sale to Shandwick, his passion and enthusiasm for the craft were unbridled…to be summoned into his office by Betty (in hushed tones) was to be filled with dread, preparing for one of his legendary tirades…only to be followed by a more reasoned tutelage in how to do it right the next time. Godspeed Warren and RIP
Although I had a brief mail room boy job at R&C in the 1970′s, I got to know Warren much better-much later. He was always available to give advice. I considered him both a mentor and a competitor. Always with a warm smile and the input. The input was highly coveted. We are in a business of favors. He was excellent at that. Warren Cowan was a favor to me. “The King is Dead. Long Live the King”
RIP Uncle Warren.
Comment by had to say it
Ditto. I count film as well (ST:TMP– you were breathtaking!)
Warren was strong in his beliefs and never waivered in his loyalty to clients or his team. He was truly unique, and, with Henry Rogers, created an industry that provided opportunity for so many of us. It was not always easy, but it was the best eleven years of my life. Thank you, Warren! Now, you and Henry can get back to business, together. Bless you both.
“Bring On The Rockettes!”, I remember him yelling in staff meetings when some executive outline a serviceable, but pedestrian campaign. “Will this stop traffic?”, he would ask. He was thinking outside the box way before that over used phrase presented itself. Even in the era of email, I still remember him hand planting items with the dailies when in New York. I remember my first visit to the LA office in the 70′s, after arranging a dinner for my wife and myself at PIP’s, he took us on a midnight tour of Beverly Hills which concluded with a visit to the Playboy mansion and an audience with Hef. I had the distinct honor of working for him for 13 years. Everything I do. Every strategy I employ in my own company today, I learned from Warren Cowan and Henry Rogers. The lovable curmudgeon is gone and we will miss him in untold ways. Rest In Peace WC….Joe Dera
What a great man and boss ! Warren was my mentor and adopted dad. Warren I will miss you greatly ~ I learned so much about life, character, integrity, and compassion from him. Every person that he spoke with was “important” at that moment… May you rest now in God’s loving arms. ~ God Bless to the family.
Great message Dick Taylor… and many others. Warren is already missed so much. Sometimes you don’t understand (maybe take it for granted) that someone will be around forever. Warren was one of those, and one of those who touched so many lives in so many ways… always with a great heart. Trust me, every name or phone call or piece of paper that went across his desk – was seen and taken as important to him… everything was important – (until it wasn’t!!).
I loved working with Warren. He truly enjoyed his work and all the people he came in contact with. He knew how to get things done and was one of a kind. Last August at the service for writer/director Mel Shavelson, Warren thanked me profusely for giving him the opportunity to work with Mel and myself. It was such as honor to work with Warren and here he was thanking me! That’s the kind of man he was. I will miss him very much. He was a huge and influential part of our Hollywood lore, and made the world a better place.
With Great Love and Respect, Maureen
It is early in the morning on the day of Warren’s service. I have not checked email or even looked at my computer since his passing on Wednesday.
I am so moved by all of the comments here and will tell the rest of the family to read these when they have a chance.
Warren was an extraordinary man.
He was also the man who loved my mother and whom my mother loved beyond all else.
They were quite a duo at events. Him always holding court, her smiling proudly at his side.
The family was all together when the end came. It was peaceful, painless and beautiful and my mother was there, as always, by his side, cradling him in her arms.
Bless you all for your thoughts and prayers. Think of him today as we send him off in the grand style which he so deserves.
And a special thanks you to S.C. You are a class act indeed, my friend. Perhaps I will see you later today. If not, soon.
Melissa Gilbert- Proud Step-daughter of an Icon
I worked for Warren and Henry for 12 years…mailroom to client care…his loyalty to his friends and his attention to detail were inspirational…the late ’70′s to late’80′s moved at light speed around the office…every day was an adventure…every night an event…i’m sure that Warren and Henry are starting their celestial office along with Bill Feeder and George Kirvay…thank’s WC…for the education and all the Nate & Al’s i could eat…and…oh yeah…i’m sorry i put so many miles on the El Dorado…
I’LL MISS MANY THINGS ABOUT MY FATHER:
HE HAD BEAUTIFUL HANDWRITING AND YOU ALWAYS KNEW A LETTER WAS FROM HIM BECAUSE IT WAS SO BEAUTIFULLY ADDRESSED.
HE ALWAYS WAS IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT PEN AND HE HAD HUNDREDS..IT SEEMED TO BE THE FOUNTAIN PEN HE LOVED THE MOST..AND HE OFTEN HAD INK ON HIS FINGERS.
HE COLOR CODED EVERY FILE…HE SAID IT WAS A SIMPLE THING SO HE COULD FIND FOLDERS OF THE CLIENTS…MERV WAS RED, SHELDON WAS BLUE, AND SO ON…
HE ALSO HAD AN UNUSUAL THING FOR SCOTCH TAPE. HE FIXED EVERYTHING WITH SCOTCH TAPE. I REMEMBER WHEN HIS REAR VIEW MIRROR WAS BROKEN AND HE PUT TAPE ON IT..IT HAD TO BE CLEAR SCOTCH TAPE.
HE LOVED TO SHOW ME ‘NEW PLACES’…IE, THE LOUVRE, EIFFEL TOWER, THE GONDOLAS IN VENICE, THE BOATS THAT LINED THE SHORES OF THE SOUTH OF FRANCE, THE FIREWORKS AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE, THE VATICAN, AND SO ON. HE WOULDN’T STAY LONG AT ANY ONE PLACE. HE WAS PLEASED YOU GOT TO SEE A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING
HE WAS A BRILLIANT MAN! HE SLEPT WITH A PEN AND PAPER ON THE END TABLE. HE SAID HE WOULD GET UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT WITH AN “IDEA”…HE’D WRITE IT DOWN.
HE WAS IMPATIENT… AND HIS IMPATIENCE MADE THE PUBLICIST BETTER…HE INSPIRED, CHALLANGED, AND PUSHED PEOPLE TO BE THEIR BEST.
I’LL MISS YOU DAD…SAY HI TO LINDA, MOM AND DANNY
Bonnie – I last your contact again…if you see this please call me…Kate
I now live 3000 miles away and work as a journalist, having just learned (7/21/08) of Warren’s passing. Fact is I worked for him and worshipped him 25 years ago. I thought he was invinceable, the proverbial man of steel, but with a heart of spun sugar.
To this very day I use one simple and brilliant quote of his: “There are no words…” (gets one off the hook in uncomfortable situations such as hospital visits and funerals when there are, well, really no words and trying to punt sounds trite and ridiculous!).
I also learned a brilliant Warren Cowan tactic (and still use and teach people) about how to recall someone’s name in a group situation, when he seems to know you, but you draw a blank. Simply look at “blank” and ask him if he knows Bill (who is also next to you, but whose name you do know). Chances are Bill will then extend his hand to “blank” and say, “Sorry, but I didn’t get YOUR name.” Then everyone is happy (of course, it helps if Bill is in on the tactic to help out). I came up short a few times and was duly reprimanded!
I’ve got a million Warrenisms, all of which have made me think about him for 25 years wherever I was in the world, and have served me well under work and social pressure in the most critical circumstances. His light will never be extinguished.
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