Jennifer Kuo Baxter, Veteran Entertainment Executive for Sony Pictures and Dreamworks Animation, Dies at 62

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Jennifer Kuo Baxter, a veteran entertainment lawyer who held several senior positions at various motion picture studios, lost her battle with uterine cancer on July 23, her friends and family announced Wednesday. She was 62 years old.

She died at home in Pasadena surrounded by her family, friend and former Sony Pictures colleague Fritz Friedman, told TheWrap.

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During her 30-year career, Kuo worked in the business and legal affairs departments at various studios, including as SVP Business and Legal Affairs at Sony Pictures and in senior positions at DreamWorks Animation. Other roles included work with TriStar Pictures, Sony Pictures Animation and Interscope.

A native of Hawaiʻi, Kuo attended Wellesley College in Massachusetts and NYU Law School. She launched her legal career in Los Angeles as a corporate lawyer with O’Melveny & Myers in 1984 after clerking for district court judges Malcolm Lucas and Edward Huff.

In 1986, Kuo joined the legal affairs group at Columbia Pictures, which subsequently became Sony Pictures Entertainment. Her responsibilities included supporting the production and distribution of motion pictures.

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Because of the breadth of her experience across production and special effects, she was named co-head of the business and legal affairs group for Sony Pictures Digital. Among the numerous titles with which she was involved were “Stuart Little,” “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs,” “Trolls” and “Starship Troopers.” Her unique expertise in special effects and animation later landed her at DreamWorks.

Kuo is survived by her husband, Tom Baxter; son, Charlie; parents Frank and Dora Kuo; brother Doug, sisters-in-law, Nancy Baxter, Jinee Tao Baxter and Ann Baxter Perrin; brothers-in-law, Charlie Baxter and Marc Perrin; nieces Lauren Baxter and Amelia Perrin; and nephews Will Baxter and Colin Perrin.

Donations in her honor can be made to the Pasadena Art Alliance at pasadenaartalliance.org, Descanso Gardens at descansogardens.org or a charity of the donor’s choosing.

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