Carol Wikarska Titelman, director of publications during the early days of Lucasfilm, died on Dec. 7 in her New York apartment. She was 73.
Titelman died following complications with Alzheimer’s disease, according to a statement released on her behalf.
Titelman began her career at Lucasfilm answering phones in the months before “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope’s” release. She rose to head three key departments — art, publishing and creative services, including all photography and negotiations of book deals — in support of George Lucas’ original trilogy. In the late ’70s, she aided the creation of art-focused books, particularly with editorial work on “The Art of Star Wars.”
As Titleman’s most ambitious project, “The Art of Star Wars” was designed by Mike Salisbury and published by Ballantine in late 1979. The art book — which included the original “New Hope” script illustrated by Ralph McQuarrie — has since been reprinted in many formats and multiple languages, including the 1994 and 1997 expanded and special edition issues.
Titleman left Lucasfilm after Lucas decided to move the company to Northern California.
Titelman was born in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1947. She graduated from UC Berkeley and became involved in the creative community of the Bay Area. Her circle included poet Michael Davidson, filmmaker Tom Luddy, performance artist Carolee Schneemann and Rolling Stone writer Jonathan Cott.
Titleman is survived by her husband, Russ Titelman.
I’m very saddened by this news. I would always see her name pop up in those early '70s books about the franchise and wondered what she was like. Would have been wonderful to interview her. The Art of Star Wars especially is incredibly important to a lot of people. She will be missed.