March 9, 2004 by

Tichi Wilkerson Kassel

8 comments

Categories: Hollywood, Media, Writers/Editors

Billy Wilkerson, the founder of The Hollywood Reporter, fell in love with his maid’s daughter, Tichi. After a whirlwind courtship, he and Tichi married in 1947. At the time, he was in his 60s and she was 19.
Tichi soon asked Wilkerson to give her a job, so he took her to the newspaper office and taught her the ins and outs of the publishing business. When Wilkerson died in 1962, she became the editor and publisher of the industry publication. Tichi increased the paper’s circulation and influence during her six-decade tenure, and launched the Key Art Awards to honor excellence in film advertising.
In 1973, she founded Women in Film, a nonprofit group dedicated to mentoring and opening doors to women in the industry. She later married and divorced realtor William Miles, then wed Arthur Kassel, co-founder of the Beverly Hills Gun Club.
Tichi started the Wilkerson Foundation, which merged with the World Film Institute in 1995. The institute provides scholarships to film and journalism students who attend Southern California universities. A renowned philanthropist, Tichi also created scholarships at the Hollywood Women’s Press Club and the Los Angeles Police Department, and established a community center and educational program for Olvera Street, the birthplace of Los Angeles.
Her memoir, “Hollywood Legends: The Golden Years of the Hollywood Reporter,” was co-written with Marcia Borie and published in 1988. That same year, she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and founded the Tichi Wilkerson Kassel Parkinson’s Foundation to raise money for medical research into the debilitating nervous disorder.
Tichi Wilkerson Kassel died on March 8 from complications of intestinal surgery. She was 77.

8 Responses to Tichi Wilkerson Kassel

  1. Ruth Leslie

    Dear Arthur,
    Unfortunatly I never knew your wife, aside from reading about her in Publications.
    I am so sorry to hear of your terrible loss!
    Always, Ruth

  2. Cindy S. Fisher

    Arthur,
    Having just returned from dinner at Trader Vic’s, I thought about Tichi and the lovely dinners we enjoyed there in years past. I then looked her name up on the Internet and learned of her passing. What a loss, I send you my regards. I have been in Nebraska and unfortunately lost touch. I would like to get in touch with Willy, if you are in touch with him please give him my e mail address.
    all best,
    Cindy S. Fisher
    csfn@adelphia.net

  3. KELLY ROSS

    Dear Arthur,
    I have just learned about Tichi. This is unbelievable. I was just speaking about her two days ago in Louisiana, and the wonderful times we had at the Beverly Hills/Cannes Sister City Committee and how much the both of you helped everyone at the Cannes Film Festivals. I am so very sorry for your loss and send my deepest sympathy.
    Sincerely,
    Kelly Ross

  4. Paul Ruffino

    Arthur:
    Our history is complex but a very important part of my life none the less. I know you fairly well and I know how you truly loved Tichi. The tow of you were “lovebirds” and you were always an inspiration to me on what a loving husband should be. Of course you had the good fortune of being married to the best and brightest. I morn your loss and celebrate Tichi’s great life.

  5. oseph amega

    dear arthur kassel, tonight may 6, 2007, you have been kind enough to invite me to your lovely home and inspect the FLEXERCISER, HONESTLY, I HAVE BEEN DOING THERAPY SINCE MY STROKE 7 YEARS AGO AND HAVE NEVER SEEN MACHINES LIKE THE ONE I TRIOED IN YOUR PLACE, YOUR MACHINE WILL GIVE ME BACK THE STRENGHT I NEED IN MY LEGS BY BUILDING MY MUSCLES AND VERY IMPORTANT WILL MAKE MY LEFT ARM AND HAND MOVE AND WORK AGAIN AFTER 7 YEARS OF INACTIBITY, I AM GRATEFUL TO MY BROTHER IN LAW CRAZY GIDEON TO HAVE ME INTRODUCED TO YOU, YOU ARE A TRUE GENTLEMAN AND I AM PROUD TO HAVE MET YOU, WITH APPRECIATION, LOVE AND RESPECT
    JOE AMEGA/ 10560 WILSHIRE BLVD APPT 1405/LOS ANGELES, CALIF, 90024, TEL 310 475 -8448 ALSO TEL 213 489 -5000 FAX 213 489-4816 CELL 310 800 7020 -email jamega@aol.com and email voyager846@aol.com

  6. Joya Shelton

    Hi Arthur:
    I hope that you remember me. I worked for you in 1993 at your fabulous BHVG. I was your Receptionist.
    I often think of your professional demeanor and remember your handsome face and nice tan, looking good in your black Rollys Royce. I saw you this year on a local TV news… You still look the same.
    Arthur,I learned a lot from you. You are a down to earth individual with class and style and I want to say Thank You for just being you.
    My heart goes out to you with love regarding the loss of your wife. I had no idea that she was in heaven. But, I’m sure women are waiting in line to get together with you.
    It is interesting to know that BHVG impacted my life greatly and I am now a professional Copy Writer and Voice-over talent.(I still keep intouch with Tom Orsi).
    I know that you are still a very busy man, although for me to send you a demo of my work
    would be overwhelming. Could I please send it.
    Arthur, thank you for being you.
    GOD BLESS YOU
    e-mail: joyaladyofsoul@sbcglobal.net

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