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Marty Turkel, 1933 - 2009

Marty Turkel, 1933 - 2009

SAN DIMAS, Calif. - The adult video business has lost one of its most beloved personalities.

Industry veteran Marty Turkel died Monday evening at San Dimas hospital of a heart attack, following a prolonged series of health setbacks. He was 75.

"He was my best friend, and a legend in the industry," said Ed Kail, who shared an office with Turkel at VCA Pictures for more than 20 years. "Everybody knew his name, and they knew he was not only a dynamite salesperson but a wonderful human being. He was loved by everyone in this industry. I loved him like a brother, and I'm going to miss him very much."

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Born in Brooklyn, New York on Dec. 18, 1933, Turkel served with the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was wounded and briefly held as a POW.

Turkel began his career in the adult business in the early 1980s with California Video Distributors, an early offshoot of Caballero.

"When I was with Caballero, Marty came out to work for us in 1982 or '83," Kail told AVN. "After about three years, Russ Hampshire called and asked us to switch over to VCA."

It was the heyday of the classic Dark Brothers movies and other best-selling VCA releases - and Turkel's salesmanship was untouchable.

"Marty was a very hard worker," Kail said. "He traveled a lot for VCA. He handled distribution, but he effectively functioned as a general manager. We sold a lot together."

When Larry Flynt and company bought VCA, Turkel moved on to work for Juicy Entertainment. But soon thereafter, his failing health placed him on the sidelines.

"Marty had been in frail health for three years," an emotional Kail told AVN. "He suffered multiple strokes and heart attacks. He had at least ten operations, and at the end, he had very little quality of life."

Ed Kail's daughter, Bonnie, spoke to AVN about her enduring affection for Turkel.

"I loved Marty so much," she said. "Because he and my dad were like brothers, I called him Uncle Marty. The two of them together were like Heckle and Jeckyl. Marty was just so funny, so hilarious. I'm going to miss him so much."

Turkel is survived by his wife of 51 1/2 years, Lynn; his son Larry and daughter Nikki; his brother Allie; his daughter-in-law, Pam, and son-in-law Jack; and his grandchildren, Bryce, Jackie, and J.P.; and his great-grandson, Desmond.

"I'm going to miss him," Ed Kail said. "I love Marty as I love a brother, and I always will."

Turkel will be cremated according to his wishes. A memorial service will be held Thursday, March 5 at 10:30 a.m. at White's Funeral Home at 404 East Foothill Blvd. in Azusa, Calif.

AVN will post a memorial page for Marty Turkel later today. In the meantime, please feel free to use the comment section below to share any personal memories you may have of Marty.






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Comments

Posted 06/17/2009 by susiebright
One of the most enchanting memories of my life is Marty Turkel taking me in his arms and dancing with me on the Santa Monica pier-- when I was newly pregnant and attending one of our award shows. He treated me with so much old-fashioned respect and up-to-the-moment intellectual curiosity, at a time when the industry took a "WTF?" attitude toward uppity women entrepreneurs. And what a dancer. His wife must have never had her feet touch the floor. My heart goes out to her and his family.
Posted 03/07/2009 by dkastens
There are certain people that leave lasting impressions on others. Marty Turkel,"the glue" was one of them. Truly a unique individual, I relished the time that I was able to spend with him. He was one of the very few reasons that I would get in super earlu so that I could have breakfast with Marty and of course Ed Kail. What a team we had at VCA. It was a very exciting time to be in the industry and Marty always added to the excitement. He supported me when I was head of Wet Video for Russ. He made double sure that our pictures got their just due in the market place. I remember hanging out with him and Chrissy over on OSO. Those were the days. You will be missed by many many people that you touched over the years and I count myself as one of them. To Lynn and Larry and Nicky I send my heartfelt condolences.
Posted 03/06/2009 by scotttucker
Marty Turkel was many things to so many of us. He was a legend in the industry, a friend to all, and a great listener to those who were seeking advice. He was kind and warm with a friendly smile to greet you when your eyes met. Marty would have been proud to read all of these warm, heartfelt, loving messages. He certainly deserved them all. Well, he will be missed, but forever in our memories…Scott Tucker. P.S. My father, Marty Tucker, asked me (from China) to post the following: //I moved away from the USA, and haven't spoken to Marty in years. I miss our telephone greetings with one another--"Hi Marty, it's Marty". He truly was a great, warm, compassionate person who will be remembered. Marty Tucker.//
Posted 03/05/2009 by brooklynn
I am grateful to have wonderful fun memories of Marty to help get me through this sad time! I have known him for a very long time and will miss him dearly at industry functions...I promise to continue his fight for "free speech" Lynn, you were always his Bacall!
Posted 03/04/2009 by robspallone
Ive known Marty for 16 years, him and Ed were like fathers to me i hung out with them, went to lunch with them five days a week. My two sons would always say to me "Dad do you have any friends your age." When Ed called me on Monday and told me that Marty passed it hurt. My prayers go out to his beautiful wife Lynn and family.
Posted 03/04/2009 by dean
Wow! I am very sad and heavy hearted today after hearing the news of Marty's passing. For many many years Marty and Ed and I and many other names I see here worked together for VCA. We were one big very happy family for so long. So much time and so many years spent together. Marty was there at my wedding and so much more. There are so many stories running through my head, here's one that is still one of my favorites to tell. Marty and I went to visit accounts in Kansas City for the first time. We got in the Hertz van to get our rental car and Marty noticed all the "what to do in case of a tornado" signs around us; at which point Marty stood up (the bus was very crowded)and asked out loud, "Is there anyone on this bus named Dorothey, cause if there is, I'm out of here". Marty, you were a great man and a wonderful friend for many years. My love and condolences to you Lynn, Larry and the rest of the family. Rest In Peace Marty, I will forever remember you and you will tryly be missed!
Posted 03/04/2009 by kimberly
I'm so sad to hear of Marty's passing. During my many years of working together at VCA I always felt a comfort zone knowing he and Ed were there every day. I can't even think of Ed without his Marty. Or as we fondly referred to them as "Arty and Med". He was such a nice man. My love to Lynn and his family. I will miss Marty
Posted 03/04/2009 by hilaryl
What sad news! I worked with Marty at VCA and learned a lot from him - "This isn't brain surgery, you know" he would whisper to me, laughing. What a funny, smart, and classy gentleman, always. Marty was THE real deal. I am so sad for Lynn and the entire family - my sincere hope is that you are comforted knowing we all share your grief. A special note to Ed Kail - I am thinking of you too, and know you have lost a great friend.
Posted 03/04/2009 by bonbon
I am going to miss Marty. Him and Ed where like 2nd Dad's to me at VCA. Marty always gave me great advice about life. He was so excited for me when i was pregnant and always looked out for me. I hope I have as many years as he and Lynn. They are an inspiration to me. I will treasure all the wonderful memories I have of Marty. He was an awesome person with a spirit that will shine forever. I will miss you my friend, R.I.P. Lynn and the family my love goes out to all of you.
Posted 03/04/2009 by albee
Marty was a true gentleman, and it was my honor to have known and worked with him. My heart goes out to his family at this time of loss. I had not seen Marty in several years, but he will always hold a place in my memories. The industry has a huge hole in its heart with his passing. Al Bloom
Posted 03/04/2009 by wendy
I met Marty back in 1985 when I first started at VCA in the distribution department. Since we were all in the same office I saw Marty at his best, this was a man who could sell ice cubes to an Eskimo! Through the years he was a close friend, confidant and as Ed Kail named him, he was "The Glue". I loved Marty very much and will miss his quick wit, friendly smile, his bizarre humor, who could tell stories like nobody else, but most important I never met a man who loved his wife and family more than Marty! I'm blessed that he was in my life and I will miss him greatly. My heartfelt condolence to Lynn and the family.
Posted 03/04/2009 by deluxejoshua
When I was first started doing the buying here, Marty was one of the first to always ask about my family first...I'll always remember his niceness & thoughtfulness towards me..R.I.P. Marty
Posted 03/04/2009 by shades
Marty was a great person and funny . We did a lot of traveling together when I was with V.C.A . We were two sales guys that would bounce ideas off each other. I learned a lot from Marty I will miss him. Rest in piece my friend I will never forget you .. Allen gold
Posted 03/04/2009 by shades
Marty was a great person and funny . We did a lot of traveling together when I was with V.C.A . We were two sales guys that would bounce ideas off each other. I learned a lot from Marty I will miss him. Rest in piece my friend I will never forget you .. Allen gold
Posted 03/03/2009 by dscope100
Marty Turkel was my friend today I was told of his passing and to say the feeling of Sadness would be a understatement I cried. He was a friend to all of us in my 25 year in the business Martys alway been there. I would see him at all the shows I would bring him the Village Voice he like it, you could tell it would take him back to his time spent in New York. I can hear his great big voice say DAVID hows NEW YORK. He was funny and happy to help you out and give his advice and tell a joke. We will all miss him my condolences go out to his family.
Posted 03/03/2009 by dscope100
Marty Turkel was my friend today I was told of his passing and to say the feeling of Sadness would be a understatement I cried. He was a friend to all of us in my 25 year in the business Martys alway been there. I would see him at all the shows I would bring him the Village Voice he like it, you could tell it would take him back to his time spent in New York. I can hear his great big voice say DAVID hows NEW YORK. He was funny and happy to help you out and give his advice and tell a joke. We will all miss him my condolences go out to his family.
Posted 03/03/2009 by svolponi1
Our industry as a whole is for the most part a family. We work side by side even while competing for business, we are all we have. When one of us makes a transition such as Marty, it hits us all like like an earthquake. Marty was Iconic, and he will be missed by everyone. My deepest sympathy to his family. Marty, may you rest in a better place. You will truly be missed.
Posted 03/03/2009 by janetavn
I will never forget the first time I met Marty at the CES Show (before it was AEE) in 1998. As Sales Manager for VCA, he was my first adult customer. He was such a great man and will be missed by many. My prayers go out to his family who must have been blessed to share his life with him.
Posted 03/03/2009 by tony
Marty's personality and style were so unique, I always said that he should be in movies--so I put him in a couple! I wasn't the only director to do so, and as all of us discovered, he was a natural who always knew his lines. In real life, Marty was the same way--he always brought something interesting to the table and had a kind heart. I learned so much from him in the many years that we worked together, and he will be missed. If I had to pick a perfect couple, it would be Marty and Lynn, and my condolences go out to her.
Posted 03/03/2009 by howard
Marty Turkel was my friend and mentor. I met Marty in 1984 when I first started at GVA SF. He was the first guy to teach me anything about this business. We would play golf on Sundays, tell jokes and generally just shoot the shit. Marty was truly a gentleman and a fatherly figure to myself and many others. He was one of the original "salesmen" in this business. He would do anything for you and ask nothing in return. Marty was very much like a Timex watch, he just kept on ticking. I will miss you my friend, my condolences go out to his beautiful wife Lynn and the rest of his family.
Posted 03/03/2009 by marybeth
Sad day here at the AVN office. He will be missed. Mary Beth Barnett, Director, AVN's Digital Media Department
Posted 03/03/2009 by howie
I am deeply saddened by the loss of Marty. My sincere condolences go out to his family and friends. Though I haven't seen Marty for some time, I will always remember him as a very funny guy and a real mensch, not to mention a great salesman. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Howie Klein
Posted 03/03/2009 by nicheking
I'm very sorry to hear this... he will be missed.
Posted 03/03/2009 by marianne
The first thing I can think of Marty after seeing 5 days a week for about 17 years is you taught me what it meant to"extend an olive branch". Marty was never at a loss for stories, jokes, and when he was surrounded by women he would say, "Lord, I pray for an earthquake right now!" I think Marty enjoyed his life and cared so much for his family (and Ed!). My love to Lynn. R.I.P. Marty.
Posted 03/03/2009 by ericd.mann
My family's prayers go out to Lynn and the kids. I brought Marty into the biz 27 years ago at California Video Distributors. He taught me the ins & outs of sales! One of the best times I had with Marty is when LONG AGO at one of the AVN Shows, Marty, Ed Kail and I stayed out all night long going to hotel to hotel gambling and then having to get to our booths to work that morning. Good times for a good person that will be missed by all!
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