Rita Hollingsworth, Veteran Entertainment Publicist, Dies at 61

She made her mark handling publicity for top names including Barbra Streisand and Robert Altman, along with high-profile films, musicians, authors and organizations

Publicist Rita Hollingsworth
Publicist Rita Hollingsworth (Courtesy Jeff Hollingsworth)

Veteran entertainment publicist Rita Hollingsworth, renowned for representing top talents like Barbra Streisand and Robert Altman during her prolific career, has died, her husband Jeff Hollingsworth told TheWrap. She was 61.

Hollingsworth passed away on Nov. 16 at USC’s Keck Hospital from a brain hemorrhage. Hollingsworth and her husband Jeff founded the media relations firm RMH Media together back in 1996.

Over the past three decades, Hollingsworth made her mark handling publicity for various high-profile films, musical artists, authors and organizations. Her distinguished client roster included the likes of Chen Kaige and the Carousel of Hope.

Early in her career, Hollingsworth gained experience at The Lee Solters Co. working with famous talent like Streisand, Michael Jackson, Liza Minnelli and Neil Diamond. She also handled PR for charitable organizations including the Carousel of Hope and Race to Erase MS.

Through RMH Media, Hollingsworth promoted several acclaimed films including “Afterglow,” “Cookie’s Fortune,” “Dancing at the Blue Iguana,” “Caught in the Web” and “Legend of the Demon Cat.”

RMH also represented bestselling writer Reyna Grande. The company currently handles publicity for upcoming documentaries such as “Reimagining Safety” and “Show Her the Money,” the latter planning a 50-city tour after recent festival success.

Hollingsworth took great pride in her work for various nonprofits over the years. Among the organizations she handled PR for were the Angelus Student Film Festival, the Pritzker Family Foundation, Foster Care Counts, artworxLA and St. Vincent Meals on Wheels. As the largest privately funded senior nutrition provider in America, St. Vincent was a particular focus — Hollingsworth leveraged her expertise to bolster its media strategy, communications and fundraising events.

Born Rita Maria Hollingsworth in 1962 in East Los Angeles, she grew up in the nearby city of Whittier. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Whittier College, followed by dual master’s degrees in Japanese language and diplomacy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

After completing her graduate program in the early 1990s, Hollingsworth took on leadership roles with multiple civil rights groups. This included the Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA). She organized efforts alongside Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition to protest anti-Asian discrimination and media prejudice at corporations including McDonald’s, NBC and Paramount.

In addition to her husband Jeff, whom she met more than 40 years ago as a student at Whittier College, Hollingsworth is survived by beloved pets including her cat Dom and dog Auggie, as well as an adoring group of extended family and friends.

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.

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