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Darcie Denkert Notkin

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Darcie Denkert Notkin Obituary
June 10, 2016 Darcie Denkert, long-time MGM executive and female pioneer in entertainment law, passed away at her home in West Los Angeles on June 10 after a long struggle with cancer. She was interned at Hillside Cemetery on June 13. Denkert became the first female lawyer at United Artists (UA) when she started her tenure there in 1976. She later moved on to become one of the first women in the industry to lead a business and legal affairs department at a major studio with her role at MGM. Denkert was a graduate of the NYU School of Law when she began her entertainment industry career as a Broadway theatre lawyer in New York City. With the exception of a short stint at ICM and Embassy Pictures in the mid-1980s, she spent 26 years at UA and its successor company MGM in various senior business and legal affairs positions. In 1997, she was named head of the department at MGM and served in that position for the next 5 years. In 2002, Denkert combined her love of Broadway theatre and film, and formed MGM ON STAGE with her long-time business associate and friend Dean Stolber. The new enterprise was aimed at exploiting MGM's film library in the theatrical world and its success inspired many other studios to take their films to Broadway. Together, Denkert and Stolber produced 10 shows using MGM's film library, creating such Broadway show hits as "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," "Legally Blonde," and "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert." In 2005, Denkert wrote "A Fine Romance: Hollywood/Broadway (The Magic, The Mayhem, The Musicals)," a beautifully illustrated and insightful text on the great shows of Broadway and their translation to the screen. True to her commitment to the film and theatrical industries, Denkert donated all of the royalties from "A Fine Romance" to the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) and The Actors Fund. Denkert's "A Fine Romance" became the foundation for an annual musical fundraiser produced by MPTF to celebrate the intersection of Broadway and Hollywood and raise millions of dollars for the charity. Denkert was a board member of MPTF for five years and an outstanding contributor to serving the organization's mission of taking care of its own. In 2002, Denkert became the chair of its Case Committee where all key decisions about charitable support for industry members are adjudicated. She was also a board member of the Simms/Mann Centre at UCLA, from which she received invaluable care from a dedicated staff throughout her illness. Additionally, Denkert was a tireless advocate for the welfare of neglected and abused dogs. In August 2002, Denkert married Allen Susman, founding partner of the law firm Rosenfeld, Meyer and Susman. Susman passed away in January 2007. In 2011, Denkert married Shelby Notkin, chairman of the private client services division at Capital Group. Denkert is survived by her husband Shelby, her mother Renee, her stepdaughter Michelle, a step grandson, as well as four stepchildren from her marriage to Susman. At the family's request, donations can be made to the CPMC Foundation/Notkin Family Breast Cancer Recovery Program or JCCF Simms/Mann Center.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 29 to June 30, 2016
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