Ryder died of ALS complications. She had been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 2014. Amid her diagnosis, the Hollywood staple became an advocate for ALS and raised awareness and funds for the disease.
Known as one of the industries' most influential publicists, Ryder began her career when she moved to Los Angeles in 1979 and worked as a talent agent with the David Shapira Agency. She then worked at Goldberg-Ehrlich Public Relations and Management, before landing a position at Michael Levine Public Relations.
In 1984, she founded Nanci Ryder Public Relations. A couple years after she merged with Paul Baker and Larry Winokur and established Baker/Winokur/Ryder Public Relations. During her 30-year career, she represented stars like Demi Moore, Michael J. Fox, Robert Downey Jr., Helen Hunt, Paul Rodriguez, Sarah Jessica Parker, Reese Witherspoon, Viggo Mortensen, Jennifer Lopez, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Garner and many more.
In November 2018, countless celebs reunited to participate in Ryder's "Team Nanci" 16th annual LA County Walk to Defeat ALS at Exposition Park Los Angeles, California.
Ryder is survived by a step-brother, Stanley Schwartz.