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George Christy Talks About Lilly Tartikoff Karatz, MOCA, The American Music Awards, and more!

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Valentine’s Day. Cold and rainy. Yet warmth and sunshine prevailed in a Brooklyn family with the arrival of a bouncing baby named Arnold.

On his birth certificate were engraved the words: love, loyalty, caring, giving, generosity. And in big bold letters was the word SUCCESS.

This is 1935, with a promising future of a career that is now legendary.

Arnold Kopelson became a revered icon in our entertainment world.

His financial savvy destined Arnold for a Hollywood mogul’s life that succeeded beyond measure. We lost Arnold this week at the age of 83, and the global power of his moviemaking will be remembered.

He died peacefully at home at his Beverly Hills residence, where he and his beloved Anne, wed 44 years, entertained the Who and the Who.

Connoisseurs both, sharing memorable dinners and first growth Bordeaux wines with friends and business associates. Everyone thrilled to share in the generosity of the Kopelsons’ good table. While they discussed the intricacies of the moviemaking genre. With Anne and Arnold, partners in love and in business, impressing guests with their outreach for success.

Early on, Arnold bought the youthful, raunchy Porky’s for $20,000 that proved to be a winner, grossing $2 million. After that, Anne and Arnold discovered that action films were best to market abroad, much better than comedies, which didn’t translate well in foreign countries.

Soon enough in 1986, Arnold earned a Best Picture Academy Award for the Vietnam War drama, Platoon, winning four Oscars. Based on a screenplay that had floated around Hollywood for 10 years.

After reading a few pages, he told Anne, “I’m determined to make this movie.”

In time, more box office winners followed including The Fugitive. A blockbuster co-starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones, awarding an Oscar to Tommy Lee for Best Supporting Actor.

Quite wonderful for someone who waited tables in school to finance his college and law educations. Our hearts reach out to Anne and their sons Dr. Peter Kopelson, the dermatologist, artist Stephanie and musician Evan, who were adopted by Anne after their mother Bella lost her life to breast cancer.

Arnold was eulogized this week at Mt. Sinai Memorial Park in Los Angeles. Including longtime friends Wendy and Leonard Goldberg, who dined with Anne and Arnold at Via Alloro in the heart of Beverly Hills the night he left us.

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Lord love a husband like Bruce Karatz, who introduced his beautiful ballerina wife “to the mesmerizing world of art.”

“A fantastic journey,” reflects Lilly Tartikoff Karatz, “to be around the Museum of Contemporary Art’s gorgeous art collection … its inspiring artists … museums from around the world and the passionate people committed to them.

“Nine years ago, I joined the MOCA Board and became co-chair along with Maurice Marciano five years ago. We are stronger than ever with an endowment of $134 million.

“However, for these last 30 years I’ve been obsessed with moving cancer research forward. Supporting Dr. Dennis Slamon by raising major funds for his extraordinary research which has helped victims.

Truth to tell, this new obsession with contemporary art has added balance, as well as enriching my life in a beautiful way.”

Lilly and her MOCA members hosted a tea at Lilly’s Bel-Air residence with an exhibition of jewelry from Vhernier to benefit the MOCA Teen Program. This program brings high school students behind the scenes to learn about the museum, contemporary art, artists and other creative careers.

“Art is not what you see,” noted French impressionist artist Edgar Degas “but what you make others see.”

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