Hollywood publicist Paul Bloch, famous for representing Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise and Sylvester Stallone among many others, has died at 78, PEOPLE confirms.
The chairman of Rogers & Cowan, one of Hollywood’s leading publicity firms for talent, died Friday morning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after battling a long illness, the agency said.
Bloch was born in New York and moved to Los Angeles when he was a young boy, according to his obituary which was obtained by PEOPLE.
He graduated from University High School and began basic training for the U.S. Army in 1957 at Fort Ord in Monterey, California, the obit read.
He graduated from UCLA and started working in the Rogers & Cowan mailroom in 1961. From there, his career took off.
“He would spend his entire professional career with the firm, mentored by co-founders Henry Rogers and Warren Cowan who eventually brought him onto the accounts of such clients as Kirk Douglas and Chuck Connors and starting his work representing talent in the music, film, television and sports arenas,” his obituary read.
“Bloch rose to become President of the Music Department and represented some of the most celebrated acts of the day including The Beach Boys, The Bee Gees, Trini Lopez, Julio Iglesias and Ricky Nelson,” it continued.
“Over his 58 years at Rogers & Cowan, Bloch was instrumental in helping to build the successes of major motion picture stars including John Travolta, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Kevin Costner, Michael Keaton, Eddie Murphy, James Caan Nick Nolte, Vin Disel, Billy Bob Thornton, Danny Glover and many others,” it read.
“Bloch remained relevant over the decades, always working with the newest talent of the current generation, discovering such actors as Brie Larson and Liam Hemsworth and moving into worldwide representation of Asian superstar Donnie Yen,” his obituary added.
Bloch’s influence extended to award-winning filmmakers such as Robert Zemeckis, Jerry Bruckheimer, Brian Grazer, Jerry Weintraub and Glenn Gordon Caron.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, fellow publicist Stan Rosenfield said of Bloch: “Paul was not one of the best. He was the best. To say he will be missed is like saying Everest is a mountain. May he rest in peace.”
Among Bloch’s many famous talents was Cruise, whom he represented from 2005 to 2010, and Lisa Marie Presley while she was married to Michael Jackson.
His clientele extended to John Travolta, Sharon Stone, Farrah Fawcett, Kevin Costner, Anna Nicole Smith, Michael Keaton, Anthony Hopkins, Victoria Beckham, Steven Seagal and many more.
In 1991, Bloch was awarded the Les Mason Award from the Publicists Guild of America — the highest honor given by the organization — for his work on the 1971 ABC TV movie Brian’s Song.
He is survived by his sister Lois Golden, his nephew Douglas Golden (wife Dianne Golden and nieces Andrea Mohr (husband Michael Mohr) Victoria Silverman (husband Mark Silverman). He was the loving great uncle to Jason and Lexi Mohr, Chase and Courtney Silverman and Jake Alyssa Golden Funeral Services will be private and a Memorial Service is pending.
- with reporting by ELIZABETH LEONARD