Home Entertainment Mickey Cottrell, Veteran Publicist and Champion of Independent Film, Dies at 79

Mickey Cottrell, Veteran Publicist and Champion of Independent Film, Dies at 79

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Mickey Cottrell, a veteran publicist for independent films known as a champion of filmmakers and actors, died Monday at the Motion Picture Hospital in Woodland Hills, his sister Suzy Cottrell confirmed. He was 79.

Cottrell had returned to Los Angeles in 2019 after living with his sister in Arkansas while he recovered from a stroke he suffered in 2016.

His sister remembered him on Facebook, writing, “My adorable, fun, critical, foodie, particular, brilliant, loving brother passed on to the next life early on New Year’s Day. He was smiling when he died. Mickey Cottrell will be missed by many.”

A fixture at film festivals, he was remembered by friends on Facebook as a generous and sassy raconteur, a devoted mentor, the “life of the party” who threw star-studded Sundance parties in the 1990s and an expert on gay Hollywood history.

Cottrell also acted in numerous small roles over the years, including turns in Gus Van Sant’s “My Own Private Idaho” as Daddy Carroll, one of River Phoenix’s johns and in “Drugstore Cowboy” as well as in “Ed Wood,” “Volcano” and “Shortbus,” in which he played “dead man in Jacuzzi.” He also appeared in “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Star Trek: Voyager.”

Among the filmmakers he worked with were Percy Adlon (“Bagdad Cafe”), Ira Sachs (“Keep the Lights On”) Phillip Noyce (“Dead Calm”), Sophia Takal, Andrew Haigh (“Weekend”), Jonathan Caouette (“Tarnation”), Wim Wenders (“Wings of Desire”) and many more. He also handled publicity for films including “The Quiet American,” “Weekend,” “I Am Divine,” “One False Move,” “Blood and Concrete,” “Earth Girls Are Easy,” “Streetwise” and “Querelle.”

Cottrell started out in Hollywood doing publicity for Landmark Theaters, then worked at Josh Baran Associates. He launched Cottrell and Lindeman Associates in 1989 and in 2002 started Mickey Cottrell Film Publicity, followed by Inclusive PR.

In a 2010 profile of Cottrell in the L.A. Weekly, Ella Taylor wrote that he was, “As unlike the sleek new generation of professional PR smoothies as it’s possible to be.”

Variety‘s Todd McCarthy mentioned Cottrell in a 1996 article about Sundance, saying, “As late as 1987, only one publicist, Mickey Cottrell, made the trip from Hollywood to promote a picture at the festival.”

He is survived by two sisters Gigi and Suzy Cottrell, nephew Jeremy Allen and great-nephew Gregory Allen.