The Inner Circle Acknowledges, Willette Murphy Klausner as a Top Pinnacle Professional
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LOS ANGELES, June 18, 2024 ~ Los Angeles, CA - Willette Murphy Klausner, a visionary leader in theater and film, has been recognized as a Top Pinnacle Professional for her groundbreaking contributions as a Trailblazer in Theater and Film Production. With over four decades of remarkable career achievements, Ms. Klausner has significantly shaped the world of arts and entertainment.

Ms. Klausner's production company, WMK Productions, Inc., based in Los Angeles, California, has spearheaded numerous groundbreaking productions that have captivated audiences worldwide. But her journey to success was not an easy one.

She worked her way through UCLA as a secretary to J. Fred Weston, chairman of the Business and Finance department. Despite facing challenges as a Black woman in a predominantly white industry, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and made history as the first Black and first female senior class president at UCLA.

During her time at UCLA, Ms. Klausner also broke barriers as the first Black model to be featured in an American fashion magazine (Mademoiselle college issue). After graduation, she ventured into the corporate world and became the first Black and first female merchandising executive at Bloomingdale's in New York.

After a brief stint working as a model for renowned fashion designer Jean Voigt in Copenhagen, Ms. Klausner returned to Los Angeles. She then worked as a statistical analyst at Carnation Company before embarking on her extensive career in advertising/marketing research with Audience Studies, Inc.

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As Vice President of West Coast Operations at Audience Studies Inc., Ms. Klausner collaborated with numerous national advertisers such as General Motors, Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson.

In 1976, Ms. Klausner made history once again when she became the first female Vice President of Marketing and Marketing Research for MCA Universal Studios. She orchestrated successful marketing campaigns for several blockbuster films including Jaws, Animal House, The Wiz, The Deer Hunter, The Jerk, and The Blues Brothers.

Throughout her illustrious career, Ms. Klausner has received numerous accolades and recognition for her exceptional achievements and contributions. In 2022, she was honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from The Drama League for her enduring impact on the theater world.

Her distinguished production portfolio includes award-winning and critically acclaimed titles such as "Hadestown," "MJ the Musical," "The Wiz," "Purlie Victorious," "Ain't Too Proud - The Life and Times of The Temptations," "Three Mo' Tenors," "Cabaret – the Revival," "Devil Wears Prada," and many other groundbreaking productions. Currently, she is involved in the development of a new staged concert and several new musicals.

Ms. Klausner's unwavering commitment to her craft serves as a source of inspiration to countless individuals aspiring to succeed in the entertainment industry. Her life philosophy, rooted in the value of hard work instilled by her parents, has propelled her to the pinnacle of success.

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The Wall Street Journal has also recognized Ms. Klausner's remarkable journey and pioneering achievements, further solidifying her status as a trailblazing luminary in the entertainment industry.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Ms. Klausner holds deep appreciation for her parents who raised her and her sisters in Santa Barbara. Her father was an acclaimed caterer while her mother worked alongside him. They instilled in their daughters a love for food and belief in the rewards of hard work.

Ms. Klausner's sisters have also achieved great success - one founded Harriet's Cheesecakes which has been featured on Food Network, another pursued a distinguished international career with the US Department of State, while the third rose to Vice President at an airport security firm.

Since 1969, Ms. Klausner has been married to noted attorney and co-founder of Reason Magazine and the Reason Foundation, Manuel Klauser. Together, they have forged a legacy of accomplishment and embarked on a lifetime of adventures. The couple is renowned as "super foodies" and "gastronauts," having traveled to over 50 countries in pursuit of their passion for excellent food and wine. They have also invested in over 40 restaurants.

Ms. Klausner's groundbreaking contributions to the entertainment industry and her unwavering determination to succeed make her a true trailblazer and an inspiration to many. Her legacy will continue to shine brightly for years to come. For more information, please contact Katherine Green at 516-825-5634.
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