Bethlyn Hand Dies: Veteran Motion Picture Association Executive Was 85

Bethlyn Hand, the former Senior Vice President of Advertising and Administration for the Motion Picture Association, passed away on February 14. The cause was Alzheimer’s disease, her brother Lloyd Hand said. She was 85.

A veteran of the MPA, Hand joined the org soon after Jack Valenti was made President, and remained for 37 years. Valenti said in 2003, “She was by my side at the very beginning of my tenure at the MPAA. I got a lot of credit for what she did.”

Hand played a crucial role in approving or declining marketing campaigns according to the guidelines of the Motion Picture Association of America’s ratings program and became a well-known figure in the industry. 

She grew up in Houston and majored in journalism at the University of Texas, then began her career in 1966 when she moved to Washington DC and worked alongside Valenti. Nine years later, Hand moved to Los Angeles to head up the MPAA’s advertising division. 

Hand was a member of the public relations branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and served on the Public Relations Coordinating Committee. She also served as Vice Chairman of the California Film Commission. 

Upon her retirement in 2003, Hand said, “It has been a wonderfully rewarding career in which I have made long-lasting friendships.” 

Hand is survived by her brother and sister- in-law, Lloyd and Ann Hand, three nieces, five great nieces and nephews and four great-great nieces and nephews. She also loved her dogs and watching her beloved Texas Longhorns win. 

Said Lloyd Hand, “All in our family have felt Bethlyn’s love and loyalty and benefited at times from her generosity. Her passing leaves a void in all our lives but she will forever live on in our hearts.” 

A memorial service will be arranged by Pierce Bros Westwood Village Mortuary. In lieu of flowers, the family said, “please consider making a donation to the Motion Picture and Television Fund or the Alzheimer’s Association.”

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