Nancy Biederman, Motion Picture & Television Fund Advocate, Dies of Leukemia

Biederman led effort to save retirement community that now houses 200 industry veterans

Nancy Biederman, Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) advocate, has died of leukemia, TheWrap has learned.

Biederman is credited with leading the effort to save the MPTF’s retirement community in Woodland Hills, California, which now is home to 200 plus industry veterans including movie directors and Broadway performers.

“If there’s a heaven, then Nancy Biederman is there,” industry journalist Richard Stellar, who worked closely with Biederman, told TheWrap. “Nancy pretty much did the heavy lifting to keep long-term care open for the motion picture and television industry.”

Stellar continued: “She had the respect of everyone … if she had to get (Jeffrey) Katzenberg on the phone, she spoke to the attorneys, the principles involved, the healthcare workers, the bloggers and the rest of us. Everyone loved her.”

In 2009, Jeffrey Katzenberg and 40 other board members sought to close the facility due to a lack of funding, according to Bob Beitcher, CEO of MPTF.

“When we announced that we were needing to close the unit because of financial issues, Nancy along with some other family members and members of the community opposed the decision,” Beitcher told TheWrap. “They formed a group called ‘Saving the Lives of Our Own,’ and put up a rip-roaring fight and challenged the decision.” 

Over the past years, Biederman dedicated her time as a volunteer and supporter. “She was a spectacular advocate for long-term care program and the organization,” added Bietcher.

“She is going to be sorely missed,” Stellar said. “I hope they erect a statue of her at the motion picture home.”

The MPTF was created by Hollywood luminaries such as Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith as a program to help those in the industry who didn’t know where their next paycheck would come from. According to the MPTF website, it all started with a simple coin box where entertainment workers could deposit change for fellow colleagues.

Biederman is survived by her mother, her son, her brother and her husband.