DEAD EASY RYDER
Nanci Ryder was once best known for being the fierce publicist of stars such as Courtney Cox and Michael J Fox, and a mother figure to younger actresses such as Reese Witherspoon, who thanked her personally during her Oscar winning speech. In recent years, however, Ryder has been known among deadpoolers for a six year battle with the dreaded ALS, or motor neurone disease if you are British.
She first became a talent agent in Hollywood in 1979, before become an independent agent in the 80s and nabbing Michael J Fox as her first big star just before he took up the Back to the Future series. She was known for having an eye for future stars when they were young, being an early backer of Robert Downey Jr and Leonardo di Caprio among others.
Having previously beaten cancer, Ryder was diagnosed with ALS in 2014, and raised nearly a million dollars in research money towards the disease before it began to restrict her movement and health. Even as she lost the ability to speak, she continued to raise her voice, writing in support of ALS research and denouncing the Hollywood gender problem, an issue she had fought since the 70s. Even as her health restricted, she would call “Hooray for email!” and carry on trying to fight the causes she always done. She was only on two teams, a testament to the respect folk had her for her indefatigability at hanging on. So points for Pedro and Shaun.
1953 – 11 June 2020