Jorge Camara was president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Photo: Courtesy

A Merida native who was president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association died Friday after a long battle with cancer. The veteran film critic was 84.

“It is with great regret that I have to let you know of the passing of our dear friend and colleague Jorge Camara,” Lorenzo Soria, current HFPA president, said in a statement. “Jorge passed away peacefully yesterday afternoon after struggling with health issues for the past few years. As a past president of the HFPA, he was instrumental in the success of our association. Many of you have worked closely with him, and we know you will join in our sorrow.”

Camara was born in 1936 and moved to Mexico City to study journalism. Then he made his way to Los Angeles to pursue a career writing about film, a passion of his from a young age.

After arriving in Southern California, he found work writing for various publications. One of his editors sent a letter of recommendation to former HFPA president, Miguel deZarraga, a Spanish correspondent, and Camara became a member a short time later.

One of his first interviews as a member was with Bette Davis on the set of the 1964 crime drama “Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte.”

Camara recently served as chairman of the HFPA’s board. He spent six years as HFPA president in scattered years, most recently from 2007 to 2009. He was also an officer or board member for more than 20 years after joining the HFPA in 1968.

Camara was a film critic for La Opinion and also served as a film critic and columnist for other foreign language and English language publications.

In addition, he worked as a correspondent, producer and critic for a variety of Spanish-language television productions, including Univision’s popular “Primer Impacto,” a daily magazine program airing in the U.S. He also worked on several Telemundo productions, including “Estrenos y Estrellas,” “Al Rojo Vivo,” “Hollywood Hoy” and on programming for KVEA-TV in Los Angeles.

He produced, directed or worked on international broadcasts for HBO Olé, the first HBO premium channel of Latin America.

“He will be missed by all and his contributions to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and the Hollywood journalism community will not soon be forgotten,” the HFPA said Saturday.

Camara was also a member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Film Critics Association. He served as president of LAFCA from 1988 to 1990.

Source: Deadline.com