Motion Picture & Television Fund

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Motion Picture & Television Fund
TypeHealth care charity
Formerly called
Motion Picture Relief Fund

The Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF) is a charitable organization that offers assistance and care to those in the motion picture and television industries and their families with limited or no resources, including services such as temporary financial assistance, case management, and residential living.


During the 1930s, the untimely deaths of several former Hollywood stars who ended up destitute shook the community. These included Roscoe ("Fatty") Arbuckle, John Bowers, Karl Dane, Florence Lawrence, Marie Prevost and Lou Tellegen.[1]

In 1940, Jean Hersholt, then president of the Motion Picture Relief Fund, found 48 acres (19 ha) of walnut and orange groves in the southwest end of the San Fernando Valley which were selling for US$850 an acre ($0.21/m2) ($40,800). The fund's board purchased the parcel that same year to build the Motion Picture Country House. To offset the costs for the first buildings, which were designed by architect William Pereira, 7 acres (2.8 ha) were sold. Mary Pickford and Jean Hersholt broke the first ground. The dedication was on September 27, 1942.

The Motion Picture Hospital was dedicated on the grounds of the Country House in 1948. In attendance were Buddy Rogers and Loretta Young, among other stars.[2] Services were later extended to those working in the television industry as well, and the name was altered to reflect the change. The retirement community, with individual cottages, administrative offices, and a hospital, is located at 23388 Mulholland Drive in the Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.


Scores of movie notables have spent their last years here, as have far less famous people from behind the scenes of the industry. Those with money paid their own way, while those who had no money paid nothing. Fees are based solely on the "ability to pay."

Individuals in movies, TV, and other aspects of the industry, such as actors, artists, backlot men, cameramen, directors, extras, producers, and security guards, are accepted. To qualify for a cottage, applicants (or their spouses) must have reached a minimum age of seventy and must have worked steadily for at least twenty years in entertainment industry production. The waiting time is usually a few months, with no preference given to celebrities or those who can pay their own way, officials of the fund have said.[citation needed]

Recent history[edit]

In 1993, the Motion Picture & Television Fund Foundation was established with Jeffrey Katzenberg as Founding Chairman. The Foundation, as it was formerly known, existed as the conduit to fulfill the vision of its donors and their philanthropy to the growing human needs of the entertainment community it serves. The MPTF Foundation puts on annual events that help raise millions of dollars in funds to continue to assist those entertainment industry members in need. These events include the Michael Douglas and Friends Golf Tournament,[3] The Night Before and The Evening Before,[4] the Heartbeat of Hollywood golf tournament and its Heartbeat Lite companion event, and Reel Stories, Real Lives.[5]

In 2006, the groundbreaking for the Saban Center for Health and Wellness featuring the Jodie Foster Aquatic Pavilion was held on The Wasserman Campus. The center was named after donors Haim Saban and his wife, Dr. Cheryl Saban.[6] It opened its doors on July 18, 2007, and features aquatic and land-based therapies as well as MPTF's Center on Aging, a best-practice model which provides a variety of programs that are geared toward improving the lives of the entertainment industry seniors throughout southern California. A new and emerging need to address quality-of-life issues for older adults in their own homes was identified and led to the creation of such MPTF programs and initiatives as Palliative Care, Elder Connection, Rebuilding Together, and the MPTF Age Well Program.[7] In 2014, MPTF opened the Samuel Goldwyn Jr. Center for Behavioral Health, specializing in adults over 55 with acute mental health needs.[8]

There was a turbulent period starting in early 2009 when the MPTF announced that rising costs amid the recession would force it to shutter its long-term care unit, which had 136 patients at the time, as well as its acute-care hospital. That decision created a barrage of criticism, with some questioning the fund's commitment to its stated goal of “taking care of our own."[9] The MPTF restructured, brought in Bob Beitcher in 2010, and launched an aggressive $350 million fundraising campaign in 2012 headed by Jeffrey Katzenberg and George Clooney. Beitcher said the fundraising push was to provide a safety net for the 75,000 baby boomers who would be retiring from the industry over the next 20 years. At that point, $238 million had already been raised with key contributions from Clooney, Steve Bing, Tom Cruise, Barry Diller, Fox Entertainment Group, David Geffen, Michael Lewis, Jerry Perenchio, Joe Roth, Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, Todd Phillips, Patrick Soon-shiong, Thomas Tull and John Wells, among others. As of 2014, $325 million has been raised for this campaign.[10] For its health care centers, MPTF partnered with UCLA Health, which today operates five MPTF health care centers in Los Angeles. These health centers are still exclusive to entertainment industry members.[11]

The brainchild of Jeffrey Katzenberg, the annual “Night Before the Oscars” launched in 2003 and remains one of the main MPTF fundraising events. The14th annual "Night Before" party, held February 27, 2016, raised a total of $5.2 million to benefit the MPTF More than $70 million has been raised since the event was launched.[12]

Through June 1, 2014, the MPTF's operations include a 250-bed multilevel care hospital, seven primary care health centers, a 186-unit retirement community on The Wasserman Campus in Woodland Hills providing independent and assisted living, and a free-standing child care facility.[13]

To date, the Samuel Goldwyn Foundation is the single largest donor in the foundation's 93-year history, with the family's total contributions to the MPTF upwards of $55 million.[14]

On October 1, 2016, MPTF commemorated its 95th anniversary with a live entertainment event on its campus hosted by Hugh Jackman. Among the highlights were live musical performances by resident Helen Reddy, Derek Hough, Jane Lynch, Johnny Mathis, and Norm Lewis, with speakers including Chris Pine, Loretta Devine, Bryan Cranston, and Matt Bomer. A 100th birthday cake was presented to actor Kirk Douglas, who was in attendance with wife Anne and son Michael Douglas.[15]

In 2020 and 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic, MPTF was the administrator or co-administrator for multiple relief funds including the DGA, IATSE, ViacomCBS, Cast & Crew, the cast and crew of Westworld, and The Comedy Store, as well as its own dedicated COVID-19 relief fund for industry members at large.[16] During the pandemic, MPTF Studios (the on-campus video production facility) began broadcasting live programming from its recently remodeled campus theater several days per week with residents and supporters video conferencing in to participate in a variety of shows and activities.[17]

MPTF's current memory care facility, Harry's Haven (named after Douglas’ father, Herschel “Harry” Danielovitch), was relocated from its original standalone building to the second floor of the hospital in 2019[18] after an extensive remodel and upgrade. Also in 2019, the long-term care unit in the hospital was dedicated as Mary Pickford House, which contains 40 beds. Adjoining it is Hersholt Place (named after Jean Hersholt) with an additional 10 beds.[19]

On January 14, 2021, MPTF was announced as the recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, to be presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the 93rd Oscars ceremony on April 25.[20] This marked the first time in Academy history that an organization was chosen for the award, which was also presented that year to Tyler Perry. The award also coincided with the 100th anniversary of MPTF's founding, to be celebrated in September 2021.[21]

2020 coronavirus outbreak[edit]

The hospital experienced an outbreak amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020,[22] resulting in the deaths of at least seven residents.[23] The first fatalities at the retirement community were John Breier, a long-term care resident who died on April 7, 2020, and actor Allen Garfield, who also died on April 7.[24] By April 22, 2020, 14 residents (out of a population of 162 residents) and nine of the facility's 400 employees had tested positive for COVID-19.[23] Including Breier, at least five residents had died from COVID-19 by April 22, 2020.[25][23] In January 2021, MPTF began a campus-wide program to vaccinate all residents.[26]


The Fund has a Board of Directors and a Board of Governors.[31][32]

Board of Directors[edit]

The members include:[33]

Board of Governors[edit]

Members are:[34]

NextGen board of directors[edit]

The members include:[35]

Notable residents[edit]

dagger Died in residence (dates are birth to death).

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]