Betty Lee Hunt, Publicist for Dozens of Broadway Shows, Is Dead at 85

Obituaries   Betty Lee Hunt, Publicist for Dozens of Broadway Shows, Is Dead at 85
 
Betty Lee Hunt, who banged the publicity drum for everything from the original production of Picnic in the 1950s to As Is in the 1980s, died Oct. 11 at her home in Manhattan, just a borough away from her Brooklyn birthplace, the New York Times reported. She was 85.

Ms. Hunt entered the Broadway world in 1951 as an assistant to press agents Leo Freedman and Abner D. Klipstein, working on the show Remains to Be Seen. She remained with the duo through several productions, including Picnic. She graduated to a solo act with the 1960 show There Was a Little Girl.

Prior to her work with Freedman and Klipstein, she was employed by publicist Dorothy Ross, who represented New York nightclubs.

In 1978, she teamed with Maria Christina Pucci, her partner, to form Hunt/Pucci Associates.

Among the legendary shows she handled were The Zoo Story, Sweet Charity, Grease, Seascape, Yentl, The Shadow Box, Crimes of the Heart, Agnes of God, Torch Song Trilogy, 'night Mother, As Is and Execution of Justice. She also handled some significant revivals, including the 1972 production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, the 1975 Hello, Dolly!, the 1976 Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Albee was a frequent client), and the 1980 West Side Story.

Ms. Hunt and Pucci later extended their interests to producing, forming the production company BetMar. As such, they had a big success in 1982 with Harvey Fierstein's A Torch Song Trilogy. The play won the team a Best Play Tony Award in 1983. She also produced Beehive Off-Broadway in 1986. Her personal clients included such names as Lena Horne and Bobby Short, with whom she worked for 35 years.

She was born Betty Lee Hurewitz and attended Erasmus Hall in Brooklyn. Ms. Hunt is survived by Ms. Pucci.

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