Given everyone’s horrible behavior in Hollywood, it’s rare to find something that scandalizes its denizens who’ve seen it all. But Michael Ovitz managed to do just that last week when he failed to show for longtime CAA colleague Ray Kurtzman’s funeral. Ray, one of the most respected guys in showbiz, died of complications from Alzheimer’s last Monday and was buried at Hillside Memorial Park. I’m told that as many as 600 to 700 people came to the service for Kurtzman — but not Ovitz who gave a lame excuse instead. “Bottom line? For a piece of art, Mike would have found a way to go there. But he couldn’t do the same for Ray,” an insider complained to me. Kurtzman was a TV and motion picture attorney and business affairs exec at William Morris Agency when he took a huge career gamble and decided in 1978 to throw in with the still fledgling agency started by Mike Ovitz, Ron Meyer, Bill Haber, Rowland Perkins and Mike Rosenfeld. Kurtzman’s arrival announced to Hollywood that CAA was serious about becoming a major tenpercentery, and it set the town talking. As head of business affairs at CAA, Ray was one of the first 20 employees and remained an integral part of the agency for 22 years until his retirement in 2001. A class act like Kurtzman should have motivated Ovitz to act classy in return. And Mike wonders why Hollywood hates him?
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