Trixie Flynn, Personal Assistant to James Gandolfini, James L. Brooks and Robert De Niro, Dies at 74

Trixie Flynn, Personal Assistant to James Gandolfini, James L. Brooks and Robert De Niro, Dies at 74

Trixie Flynn, who served as an invaluable personal assistant to such Hollywood A-listers as James Gandolfini, Steve McQueen, James L. Brooks, Jack Nicholson and Robert De Niro, has died. She was 74.

Flynn died July 22 of sudden respiratory failure at her home Marietta, Georgia, her son, theater scenic designer Seamus M. Bourne, told The Hollywood Reporter.

Flynn spent 12 years working for Gandolfini and was an assistant producer alongside him as executive producer on the HBO documentary Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq. She retired shortly after the Sopranos star’s death June 2013 and was named a beneficiary in his will.

Paulette Flynn was born on Oct. 23, 1947, Pittston, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Kearny (New Jersey) High School, then moved to Los Angeles, where she landed a job with a private investigator.

She met — and would later marry — actor Don Calfa (The Return of the Living DeadWeekend at Bernie’s), who introduced her to McQueen. She worked for the actor on Tom Horn (1980) and until his death November 1980, then was employed by Nicholson when he was starring in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981).

Through her second husband, Timothy M. Bourne, a chef turned locations scout — and later a producer on films including The Blind Side — she got a gig as De Niro’s personal assistant through 1989. He called her “indispensable,” her son noted.

Back L.A., Flynn worked for writer-producer Brooks at Gracie Films and then for famed production designer and producer Polly Platt at Carsey-Werner, then assisted actors Lauren Bacall and Aidan Quinn after a return to New Jersey.

addition to her son, survivors include her daughter-in-law, Anna, sister Mary Ellen and grandchildren Madeleine and Holden. 

“She will be missed by countless friends, all of whom would recognize the ‘Trixie’ style — polka dots, bright plaids, a lot of red — as a signature not only of her distinctive taste but of a unique and passionate spirit,” her son said.