September 25, 1962 – May 25, 2018
Gary Garfinkel, 55, co-head of content acquisitions for Showtime Networks Inc., died Friday, May 25, 2018. “Gary was one of the most warm and welcoming people I’ve known, and was beloved by everyone who worked with him at Showtime over the past 25 years,” said David Nevins, President and CEO of Showtime Networks Inc. “He was a great warrior and advocate for our company and worked hard to bring the best content to our service. In particular, many stand-up comedians credit Gary for giving them the early exposure that made their careers. He played a key role in cementing Showtime as a major premium network, and all of us who worked with him valued his taste, his counsel and his integrity. We will miss him terribly.” Along with Kent Sevener, Garfinkel was responsible for the evaluation, negotiation and acquisition of feature films, documentaries, stand-up comedy, specials and music programs for all of Showtime Networks’ services. Garfinkel was integrally involved with programming, business development, digital media and specialized programing for on-air destinations that highlight documentaries, science fiction and horror. He dramatically increased stand-up comedy on the network, expanding the portfolio to 39 comedy specials in 2012, under the “Laugh Out Loud” on-air banner. Garfinkel first joined Showtime in 1993. He previously served as senior vice president of film acquisitions, focusing on content strategy and acquisition for Showtime’s channels and services. He negotiated first-run theatrical output and library deals with the major studios and a multitude of licensing deals with independent suppliers. He built programming models for the development of new channels and significantly increased the volume of acquisitions for Showtime On Demand and the network’s authentication service Showtime Anytime. Prior to joining Showtime, Garfinkel worked at Sony Pictures Entertainment as an international business analyst and in New York at Salomon Brothers Inc. as a foreign exchange analyst, while also attending New York University Stern School of Business. He received a B.S. in Finance from Boston University. Gary is survived by his parents, Ella and Arnold Garfinkel; aunt, Yona Zucker; and cousin, Itay Zucker. Funeral and burial services will be held at 12:00pm on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at King David Memorial Chapel and Cemetery, 2697 E. Eldorado Lane, Las Vegas, NV 89120. Donations in his name may be made to the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University and the UCLA Brain Cancer Research Fund. King David Memorial Chapel handled the arrangements.
- Arnold Garfinkel, Father
- Ella Garfinkel (Zucker), Mother
- Yona Zucker, Aunt
- Itay Zucker, Cousin
- Funeral Service Thursday, May 31, 2018
- Committal Service Thursday, May 31, 2018
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October 7, 2018
I met Gary when he was 36 years old, at a Melrose co-workers house party of his. He came to Long Beach the very next day to pick me up for lunch at my humble little one bedroom studio apartment. I remember we laughed because I was a local Ad Executive at Comcast and he was a big time VP of Showtime and he made a joke that even he didn't get a colored printer as he noticed my work one. It was the first time I learned of his great sense of humor.
I moved to West Hollywood a year later and I was one of the first people he shared his new home with after getting ready to leave his apt in Santa Monica. He was so proud of that accomplishment. Being a tad younger, I now know how much that really meant to him when he shared it; I wish I would've understood how much at the time. But, I finally do as eventually going through the process myself. Ironically, I signed for my first home the day I learned he had passed. Thus, I remembered him sharing his new home that day so vivdly. At that moment thinking to myself during present time, "yes", I get it now Gary your message is received from above.
Gary helped me many times throughout my career when he distributed films on Showtime that I promoted. Some were really small indies but, he helped them immensely. We've always shared a love of film even from day one in Long Beach his noticing I was probably the only other person he knew that had a copy of the Film, "Fall", as he of couse knew the producer.
I will part with a clever time he made a whole table laugh, as we went to dinner one night at my favorite Italian place on Sunset. Gary had just got back from Italy, so he decided to pay with the Italian Lira, you should've seen the waitres's face! A priceless moment I will never forget.
I am sorry this has happened, I wish I wouldve been able to say, "good bye" in person. But, I hope to visit him where he was laid to rest soon. My sincerest apologies for your loss ! He cherished his family deeply. He will be missed by many.
May 29, 2018
I met Gary at Napa Valley Grille where he would come for business lunches. We became friends and would go to dinner, watch movies, and go for walks. He was one of the most genuine people I have ever known. One of his greatest attributes was his sense of humor. He was funny!!!!
He handled his illness with grace; calling himself "Gary 2.0". I feel such sadness that he is gone but feel lucky to have known him.