David Tillman, the beleaguered head of the Motion Picture & Television Fund, has resigned, capping a yearlong feud with residents of Hollywood's oldest nursing home and their families.
The fund, which operates the nursing home and hospital for entertainment industry workers that are slated to close, said that board member Bob Beitcher, a former chief executive of Panavision, would replace Tillman as chief executive on an interim basis until a successor could be found.
Tillman headed the fund for a decade but came under sharp criticism over his handling of the board's controversial decision a year ago to close the Woodland Hills facilities that have been a fixture of the entertainment industry for more than half a century.
The board said the facilities were losing millions of dollars each year and that the charity, which provides other social and medical services to the Hollywood community, could no longer afford to operate them.
But the decision created an uproar among the more than 100 residents and their families, who said the action was unnecessary and violated the charity's mission of "taking care of our own."
Residents and their supporters launched a campaign to keep the home open, staging protests and hiring an attorney to block anyone from being evicted from the site.
Many of the residents have refused to leave, and about 60 remain at the nursing home, which was originally scheduled to shut down by the end of last year.
"This is a huge development," said Richard Stellar, whose 92-year-old mother, Mary Stellar, secretary to Albert "Cubby" Broccoli, producer of the James Bond films, remains in the long-term-care facility. "We went up against the Hollywood machine that was trying to divert the course of healthcare, and look at where we are."
A spokeswoman for the fund said Tuesday night that the fund still planned to proceed with the closings but declined to say when that would occur.
Tillman was not available for comment but said in a statement: "I am taking this action in my own best interests as well as the best interest of the fund."