BWR PR cofounder Nanci Ryder dies after battle with ALS

Ryder worked with stars such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael J. Fox.

L-R: Don Diamont, Nanci Ryder and Courtney Cox participate in the 2018 Walk to Defeat ALS in Los Angeles as part of Team Nanci. (Photo credit: Getty Images)
L-R: Don Diamont, Nanci Ryder and Courtney Cox participate in the 2018 Walk to Defeat ALS in Los Angeles as part of Team Nanci. (Photo credit: Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES: BWR Public Relations cofounder Nanci Ryder has died after a battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. 

Ryder died last Thursday at age 67, her publicist, Lynda Dorf, said. Ryder was diagnosed with ALS in 2014.

Ryder started her career as a talent agent at David Shapira & Associates. After that, she worked at Goldberg-Ehrlich Public Relations and Management and Michael Levine Public Relations. In 1984, she formed Nanci Ryder Public Relations with Michael J. Fox as her first client.

She cofounded BWR Public Relations in 1987 with Paul Baker and Larry Winokur. The agency represented stars including Robert Downey Jr., Sarah Jessica Parker, Leonardo DiCaprio, Helen Hunt, Woody Harrelson, Paul Reiser and Paul Rodriguez.

BWR was absorbed by Burson-Marsteller in 2010. After the combination of Burson and Cohn & Wolfe, BCW launched its entertainment practice on the foundation of BWR. Last August, Eric Green was named president of BWR and the newly formed BCW Entertainment, making him the de facto leader of the firm after founding partners Ryder, Winokur and Paul Baker retired. Green began reporting to BCW CEO Donna Imperato at the time. 

Last month, BCW shuttered BWR, folding it into BCW Entertainment.  

A representative from BCW was not available for comment.

Ryder was awarded the 2018 ALS Hero Award, and she helped to raise more than $820,000 to find a cure.

Tributes to Ryder have poured in on social media.

View this post on Instagram

Sometimes in life, if you are lucky, you meet someone who takes you under their wing and cares for you like a daughter. Nanci Ryder was that other mother to me. I met her when I was 19, and we traveled the world together promoting movies...France, Germany, UK, Australia, Brazil, Russia...so many amazing places! But I loved our talks the most. Everyday after my kids went to school, she would call me to chat about shopping, purses, vintage jewelry, and about the Bachelor.??One day, Nanci called and told me she was having trouble talking...it was ALS. Nanci lived with and fought ALS for 6 years. (My heart goes to everyone out there dealing with this devastating disease????) Yesterday, my Nanci left this world. I’m so sad because I miss her so much, but now I know she is Heaven chatting with all her friends about purses, jewelry and she is looking down on me... smiling. ALWAYS. I LOVE YOU, Nanci. ????????

A post shared by Reese Witherspoon (@reesewitherspoon) on

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