Francis La Maina, Former President of Dick Clark Productions, Dies at 82

Francis “Fran” La Maina, who served as president and chief operating officer of Dick Clark Productions, died Saturday in Burbank, Calif., his representative Cheryl J. Kagan confirmed to Variety. He was 82.

“Fran was my soulmate,” his domestic partner Carla Patterson said in a statement. “In our 10 years together, we enjoyed staying at home, just the two of us, as much as we loved traveling the world. Fran’s favorite thing was to do random acts of kindness. His humor and generosity brought a smile to everyone he met. Fran was larger than life and was loved by all.”

La Maina was born and raised in New Jersey, and got his start in show business when he was in high school, working at his father’s night club. After graduating from Villanova School of Business in 1961 with a degree in economics, he began his professional career as a certified public accountant at Deloitte and Touche in New York, and would also work for Rosenthal & Co in Philadelphia.

La Maina moved to California in his twenties, joining Dick Clark Productions in 1966 as head of the accounting department. Over the years, he worked numerous positions working his way up the company, including as the secretary and treasurer of all affiliated corporations of DCPI, and as director of the company. In 1973 he was promoted to vice president of business affairs, overseeing all business associated with DCPI’s TV and film productions, including “American Bandstand,” the American Music Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, Academy of Country Music Awards, “TV’s Bloopers & Practical Jokes” and “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.” In 1977, he was appointed executive vice president, and in 1986, he was appointed president and chief operating officer. As president and COO, he guided Dick Clark Productions as it became a publicly traded company.

In 1991, La Maina was one of the chief architects behind a new company bearing Dick Clark’s name, Dick Clark Corporate Productions, which focuses on the development of communication programs, trade shows, corporate events and new product introductions. Clients the company worked with included Apple Computer, AT&T, The Boeing Company, IBM, Intel, ITT Sheraton, Kodak, Lexus, Sony and Wendy’s. In addition to serving as a president and board member of Dick Clark’s companies, he also served as a personal business advisor for the man himself.

Outside of his work at Dick Clark Productions, La Maina served on the board of directors for The Academy of Country Music. He received many honors over the course of his career as a businessman, including “Leader In Business Award” by the Coalition of Italo-American Associations.

La Maina is survived by Patterson, brother Larry La Maina, five children, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

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