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Obituary of Carlotta Florio Johnson
Carlotta Florio Johnson passed on September 19, 2018 after suffering her third stroke ending forty months of hardship from strokes. She was retired from an illustrious career in the entertainment business.
Born in Jamaica, Queens to Domenic and Josephine (Zimmatore) Florio, she had one sister Grace who was slightly older than her. They all preceded her in death.
She is survived by her husband Ed Johnson, beloved niece Giulia Casazza Zucca, doted on grandnephew Ludovico Zucca, and special puppy Tucker.
When Carlotta was very young, the family moved to New Rochelle in Westchester County where she completed her studies up to high school graduation in Catholic schools, and she then completed her B.A. at Vassar College.
In those days well educated women made their way in the business world as “secretaries.” After working for several top executives in major corporations (including Estee Lauder herself), she moved to Rome, Italy to join her sister, who had married an Italian, and her parents who had gone a few years earlier for their retirement. After five years working at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, she returned to New York City in 1982.
Waiting for an interview for a temporary job at Paramount, she heard the receptionist taking a request for someone to fill in for one of Michael Eisner’s assistants, she asked the receptionist if she could interview for the position. She did, and her entertainment career was underway. When the assignment with Michael Eisner ended he asked if she would like to work in their theatre division and she did. After several years there, Barry Diller asked her what she wanted to do next, and it was off to the movie business. First working in New York and then off to Los Angeles circa 1986. Working with TriStar Pictures, Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Scott Rudin Productions, AMC, USA Films, and Focus Features she hit full stride with increasing amounts of responsibility. She rose to Vice President at Columbia and headed the Awards Department for Focus Features, where her efforts garnered numerous Golden Globe and Oscar nominations. After retiring from full-time work in 2010, she continued her awards work freelancing with various studios and ventured into television publicity.
Not many people can say that they loved their work, but Carlotta could say that she did and considered herself extremely lucky to have had a life well lived with cooking, entertaining her friends and jetting across the United States and Atlantic Ocean. Despite the difficulties of the last forty months, when we would reminisce, she expressed her gratitude for a wonderful, exciting and interesting charmed life. We will miss what she brought to us.
A Memorial Service will be held in Los Angeles. A date and place will be announced. Please check back for further details.