Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Last Rites Held for Harry Reichenbach, Press Agent to Elite of Movie World

July 7, 1931
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The funeral of Harry L. Reichenbach, noted press agent and publicity director who died last Friday, was held yesterday at Temple Emanu-el.

Mr. Reichenbach, who was 49 years old, was press agent for some of the most noted motion picture stars and was known on Broadway for his spectacular publicity stunts. During the World War he also served in the propaganda work of the American forces abroad, worked in England for Lord Northcliffe and in Italy with d’Annunzio. Among the stunts which he accomplished in his efforts to get wide publicity for films and actors was the placing of a lion in a Broadway hotel to bring the film “Tarzan of the Apes” before public attention. At another time he put eight “Turks” in a New York hotel, where they announced a reward of $20,000 for the lost daughter of a sheik, the “Virgin of Stamboul,” which was the name of a film shown immediately afterwards.He also once stated that he had planned to have Clara Kimball Young kidnaped by Mexican bandits and rescued by American cavalry.

Among the famous motion picture stars who were Mr. Reichenbach’s clients were Rudolph Valentino, Gloria Swanson, Wallace Reid, Thomas Meighan, Ethel Barrymore, Charlie Chaplin and Pola Negri. Among theatrical and film producers for whom he handled publicity were David Belasco, Florenz Ziegfeld, Klaw & Erlanger, A. H. Woods, John Cort, Jesse Lasky and Metro-Goldwyn.

Mr. Reichenbach was born in Frostburg, Md. At the age of 13 he ran away to Join a dog and pony circus, and later joined the ranks of P. T. Barnum. He then joined the Great Raymond, a magician, with whom he went twice around the world.

Recommended from JTA