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Harry Archinal, Longtime Distribution Head of Buena Vista International, Dies at 88

Variety logo Variety 5/17/2017 Rebecca Rubin
© Provided by Variety

Harry Archinal, the longtime head of Buena Vista International, the foreign distribution arm of the Walt Disney Company, died from natural causes at Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Calif., on Saturday. He was 88.

Archinal was born in Brooklyn. He was drafted into the army in 1951 after receiving a bachelor of arts from Wagner College in Staten Island.

Following his discharge, he began working for Disney in 1954. Archinal served a series of roles before eventually being named president of Buena Vista International in 1972. He worked as president until his retirement in 1988. During his 33 years with the Walt Disney Company, Archinal helped establish Disney’s prominence in overseas markets.

“Harry was an amazing ambassador for Disney’s international distribution arm for many years, and he earned a reputation for being honest and fair in negotiating license agreements around the world,” Jeff Miller, president of studio operations for the Walt Disney Company, said in a statement.

“He was an amazing mentor to me and many other future executives in international distribution, and he was a great representative for the Disney name and the quality associated with it,” Miller added. “He had an invaluable Rolodex of international contacts. Harry was a great boss and a class act, and we will miss him very much.”

Following his retirement, Archinal became an executive vice president at Introvision, a special-effects firm that worked on several Hollywood films in the 1980s and ’90s.

Archinal is survived by his wife, Beatrix; his son, Robert; his daughter-in-law, Claudia; and his four grandchildren, Bradley, Brian, Ashley, and Amber.

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