LOS ANGELES─Joe Sutton, 83, who had worked in the entertainment industry for more than 55 years, died of health complications in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 16.
Sutton was born in 1937 in Brooklyn, New York, and moved with his family to Los Angles in 1940. He was a publicist at Rogers & Cowan in 1960 and later joined Mickey Freeman to establish Freeman & Sutton Public Relations in 1962. Their early clients included Bill Cosby, The Doors, The Smothers Brothers, The Beach Boys, David Dortort and his famed series Bonanza and the High Chaparral, Chuck Barris and his legendary Dating Game, James Caan, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Bob Denver of Gilligan’s Island, Allen Sherman, and Jill St. John.
Sutton established his own company in 1969, and in 1998, he became the host of the radio show “Talking With Joe,” which first debuted on the Los Angeles radio station KYPA-AM and eventually moved to the CBS-owned KLSX under a new name “The Heart of Hollywood with Joe Sutton.”
“He loved deeply and left it all on the field!! He was known as “The Heart of Hollywood” for a reason,” said Sutton’s son Michael Sutton on July 18.
Sutton’s book “The Heart of Hollywood: From Hollywood to Hell and Back” was published in 2003. Once he began to write the book, he had since become passionate about telling the stories of the veterans who live in the Motion Picture and Television Fund’s retirement community. He also hosted MPTF “Behind the Silver Screen,” which has collected conversations with more than 250 residents in MPTF and their stories in the entertainment industry.
“Proud and blessed son for eternity to have had this superhero Father impact and imprint on my soul,” said Michael Sutton via Facebook. “We will forever tell your stories and carry on your legacy. Words are inadequate at the moment to incapsulate you or what you mean to me and so many.”
Michael Sutton continued to say, “the outpouring of love from all of you on social media and to me and Robby personally has been commensurate to the love he poured out into the World for 83 years. For those that know my Dad let’s pay it forward and spread some Joe Sutton love to everyone, we love for as long as G d gives us. I’ve learned it solves most things. He was a unicorn. Forever my Father.”