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.
Absolutely gutted to hear of Nanci Ryder’s passing. Nanci was a beacon for me in my career. She was an absolutely joy to be around. I’ll miss her wicked sense of humor, her gossip, her laugh, her emails, her spirit, her smarts, her kindness and love. I’ll miss her so much. https://t.co/Atw9bU998F— Emmy Rossum (@emmyrossum) June 12, 2020
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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. ????????
Saddened to announce that my friend Nanci Ryder passed away after a long, brave battle with ALS.— Elex Michaelson (@Elex_Michaelson) June 12, 2020
Nanci co-founded BWR & was one of the top publicists in Hollywood history.
Among her clients: Michael J Fox, Renee Zellweger & @coxcourtney.
What a smart, hilarious, kind soul. pic.twitter.com/xPOFqYhxqm
Nanci Ryder, Powerful Publicist Who Co-Founded BWR, Dies at 67 https://t.co/sxZHdXt8Bu via @variety Nancy was always on my side, kind, fierce, loyal, determined & real. I am glad she is finally at peace after such a long battle. Rest, beautiful Nancy, knowing so many loved you.— Elizabeth Perkins (@Elizbethperkins) June 12, 2020