West Coast Publicist Nancy Hereford Has Passed Away
Nancy Hereford passed away Tuesday, August 14, 2018, in Torrance, California from complications of cancer. Widely considered the most accomplished theatrical press agent on the West Coast, Nancy spent her career drawing attention and audiences to the arts and artists that she loved.
Nancy Hereford joined Center Theatre Group in 1976 as a Mark Taper Forum Press Associate and quickly rose to Press Director. There, she would be the voice of the theatre for three quarters of its 51-year history, building the Taper's international reputation and helping define theatre in Los Angeles. At the Taper, Nancy oversaw campaigns for the first two plays to win a Pulitzer Prize before they were produced in New York - "The Kentucky Cycle" and "Angels in America" (Part One - "Millennium Approaches"). She led the publicity campaign for the opening of the Kirk Douglas Theatre in 2004 and, in 2005, she became press director of the Ahmanson Theatre. She would oversee publicity for all three theatres until she left Center Theatre Group in 2016. During her career, Nancy handled hundreds of productions and worked with writers such as Tony Kushner, Luis Valdez, Christopher Hampton, George C. Wolfe, Neil Simon, Paula Vogel, August Wilson, Lisa Kron and Athol Fugard among many others.
Before joining Center Theatre Group, Nancy Hereford was an Account Executive in Entertainment Public Relations for Universal Studios Tour, Universal Amphitheater and Magic Castle. She also served as an Independent Press Associate on "A Chorus Line" and "Fiddler on the Roof." While at Center Theatre Group, she served as publicity consultant for the Olympic Arts Festival. She was also a member of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers.
Nancy Hereford was known for her curiosity - as a publicist it could be seen in the way she immersed herself in the issues and history of every project. In her daily life, it could be seen in the deep connect she made to those around her - she had an innate ability to engage with people and make those around her feel special. Whether it was a playwright premiering a new work or a friend with a story to tell, Nancy made everyone feel heard.
Born August 15, 1947, in Los Angeles to Jack and Peggy G. Hereford, Nancy graduated from El Segundo High School (where she was named to the high school's Hall of Fame) and maintained close ties to the El Segundo community. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science at the University of Colorado and Master of Arts Degree in Mass Communications from the University of Denver. Nancy was a quintessential Angeleno but she loved the outdoors of the Southwest, especially the San Juan Mountains that she first visited as a child with her family. She is survived by her brother Richard Hereford, sister-in-law Sue Beard and nephew Jack Hereford, residing in Arizona.
A memorial will be held on Monday, September 24 at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA.