Sergei “Serge” Rakhlin, an entertainment journalist who was a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the past 26 years, died Friday, the HFPA announced. He was 78.
Rakhlin, a longtime print and broadcast entertainment reporter and occasional screenwriter, was born in Russia but represented Russia, Latvia and Ukraine in the HFPA. During his time with the organization, he served as its executive secretary; a member — and at one time president — of its foreign film committee (now known as its non-English language film committee); and, for several years, an executive producer of the Golden Globe Awards.
“Sergei was a strong advocate for international filmmakers and long pressed for their recognition and inclusion in Hollywood,” HFPA president Helen Hoehne said. “His passion for films from across the globe was only surpassed by his support of the HFPA.” Hoehne added, “Sergei had a very active role within the Association, and he always cheered on the successes of his HFPA colleagues. His intelligence and kindness endeared him to anyone who met him.”
Rakhlin was born in Gorky, Russia, in 1943. His parents settled in Riga, Latvia when he was seven. He received a degree in journalism from the Latvian State University and worked as a writer and screenwriter before immigrating to the United States in 1978. He received his master’s degree from the University of Southern California.
Prior to joining the HFPA in 1996, Rakhlin worked as a general producer, artistic director, and talk-show host at WMNB TV and Radio Station, editor-in-chief of the Panorama newspaper and a Hollywood analyst and observer for the Voice of America radio station.
His articles were published in Vogue, Variety, Action!, Film Search and other magazines, newspapers and online publications in the United States, Russia, Latvia, Ukraine and Central Asia.
He also wrote screenplays, two of which — Brutus (2016) and Witnesses (2018) — were made into feature films.
Sergei is survived by his wife, Emilia, and son, Nick.