R.I.P. Leonard Hirshan

By | Saturday February 1, 2014 @ 11:12am PST

len hirshan 001Manager Leonard Hirshan, who represented Clint Eastwood from his days in television to his turn as a multi-Academy Award-winning filmmaker, died on January 31 at his home in Beverly Hills. The cause of death for the longtime former William Morris agent was Merkel cell carcinoma. He was 86. Hirshan was a longtime William Morris agent — he spent 50 years at the agency and at one point was head of the agency’s motion picture group. He represented Elvis with Colonel Tom Parker, Walter Matthau, Sophia Loren, Eva Marie Saint, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Edward G. Robinson. He passed away with his two daughters, Karen Hirshan and Sarah Dey Hirshan, by his side. He and Eastwood were close and have what is likely the longest business relationship in Hollywood; they celebrated birthdays together; they were there for each others’ marriages; and Hirshan celebrated Eastwood’s triumphs such as when the filmmaker won Best Picture and Best Director for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby and even traveled overseas to visit the set of Eastwood’s Flags Of Our Fathers. He was fiercely loyal to his clients and an extremely private person — except to speak proudly about the daughters and granddaughters he loved.

A native of New York City, Hirshan began in the mailroom of William Morris Agency’s NYC offices in April 1951 and quickly moved up the ranks to agent when be began representing then-unknown Saint. photo(1)Hirshan pushed to land her a role in On The Waterfront which was her first film and earned her an Academy Award for supporting actress. In 1955, he moved to Hollywood, where he began very long-term relationships with Jack Lemmon and Matthau. Hirshan negotiated Presley’s deal for his very first feature film, Love Me Tender. In 2001, Hirshan left William Morris to form Leonard Hirshan Management where he continued to be the exclusive agent and manager of Eastwood. In meetings at William Morris, he would often say to the younger agents: “Get a piece of paper and a pencil and write this down.” He taught many agents about the business and negotiation skills. “He was a good mentor to me and the best negotiator I ever met and a true friend. Recently, we had lunch at the Soho House with (former agents) John Ptak, Bob Shapiro, Steve Kenis, Rick Nicita, and Fred Specktor,” said longtime friend Fred Westheimer, who worked with him for about 45 years at WMA. “This is a shock.” Read More »

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Have A ‘Jim Wiatt Take The Money And Rum’

By | Friday August 12, 2011 @ 1:06pm PDT

UPDATE: That’s just one of the drinks being served at the William Morris Agency Alumni Party happening this Saturday night and organized by Rikin Mantri and and Mike Palank. “We have all been witnesses to the … Read More »

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SOURCES: WME To Suffer 8-Figure Loss After Setbacks In BH Building Arbitration

We all know that Ari Emanuel is an asshole, but we also thought he was at least a smart asshole. Because he decided to back out of the William Morris Agency’s commitment to lease that big blue Beverly Hills office building after Endeavor took over the venerable tenpercentery. Well, now … Read More »

Comments 88

Mosaic Manager Ann Blanchard Joining CAA

EXCLUSIVE (UPDATED BELOW): There’s been no announcement yet. But Ann Blanchard is already being accused of breaking Hollywood protocol by not first informing those agents repping her Mosaic Media Group’s TV management clients of her change of employment. Instead, she’s calling … Read More »

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R.I.P. Ed Limato

limato_chair_300x4003RD UPDATE: Ed Limato’s clients  weigh in on his passing:

Richard Gere: “Ed was my dear friend and agent for 40 years. He was the best of the best. There will never be anyone like him. The mold has been … Read More »

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Jackie Chan Leaves CAA For Morris, And Paul Thomas Anderson Lands There, Too


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I’m told Jackie Chan fired CAA on the day his new movie The Forbidden Kingdom opened #1 last Friday. Today he landed with the William Morris Agency’s Phillip Button. As for the There Will Be Blood director, Paul Thomas Anderson leftRead More »

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