Jack Valenti, 85, suffered a stroke and is in Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
Valenti is the longtime head of the Motion Picture Association of America who exited in 2004 after 38 years atop the association.
The association has since taken on the task of helping devise a V-chip/ratings system education campaign for TV that will pass muster with Washington policymakers concerned about content.
Valenti created the movie ratings system some four decades ago to ward off government regulation of that medium. He has since become a leading defender of artistic freedom and opponent of government intervention in content.
In a statement, Barry Meyer, chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. and a friend of Valenti's, confirmed the stroke, which he said occurred last week.
"He is hospitalized at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and his family tells me that the doctors are encouraged by his progress to date," Meyer said. "Mary Margaret [Valenti's wife] and his children have asked me to express their deep appreciation of the outpouring of love, support and prayers."
Meyer said the family did not want to release any more information at this time.