BURBANK, Calif. – Veteran Hollywood publicist Dale Olson, who represented Hollywood legends such as Marilyn Monroe, Gene Kelly and Alfred Hitchcock, and current A-listers such as Clint Eastwood, Shirley MacLaine and Steven Spielberg, is dead at age 78.

Spokesman Harlan Boll said Olson died early Thursday at a Burbank hospital after a long battle with cancer. Despite his struggle, Olson continued working until recently.

Perhaps Olson’s most notable role was as the spokesman for Rock Hudson during the actor’s widely publicized, ultimately fatal bout with AIDS in 1985. Olson is also credited with helping to launch the “Rocky,” “Rambo,” “Superman” and “Halloween” film franchises. He led numerous winning Oscar campaigns and was active in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and The Actors Fund.

Other Hollywood greats represented by Olson included Steve McQueen, Laurence Olivier and Tony Curtis.