Legendary Talent Manager and ‘Seinfeld’ Producer was 91 – Deadline

George Shapiro, deeply respected talent manager, producer and co-founder of Shapiro / West End Associates, died of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills on Thursday evening. He was 91 years old.

Along with his partner and childhood friend Howard West, Shapiro was the personal manager of comedy greats Jerry Seinfeld, Andy Kaufman and Carl Rainer. He and the West executive will go on to produce SeinfeldOne of the greatest comedies of all time.

Born in New York, Shapiro spent his teenage summers as a lifeguard at the Pokোনোmon’s Tamement Resort, where he met actors such as Dick Shawn, Pat Carroll and Carol Burnett, singer Barbara Cook and choreographer Harb Ross. That’s when he met the talent agents.

“These guys came… I didn’t even know what an agent was, but they came to watch shows, to talk to girls, to talk to comedians,” Shapiro said in a past Television Academy Foundation interview. I said, ‘Is this your job? To see the show, to have a nice dinner, to come to the resort with the lake? I have to see that. “

After graduating from NYU and serving in the Army, Shapiro received an interview for a job through his uncle Carl Rainer at William Morris’s Melroom in New York. He became a junior agent in the agency’s packaging department, earning $ 38 a week, but stayed close to comedy after seeing Lenny Bruce, Mike Nichols and Ellen May perform at Phyllis Dealer in New York. He hired his PS 80 friend West to join him at the agency.

Several years later, Shapiro began to recognize that big comedy shows and productions were moving to Hollywood. So he started a rumor to William Morris that he would be sent to the Los Angeles office and the rumor turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy, which brought the West with him.

In Los Angeles, he became a package of television programs, including classics. Steve Allen Shaw, that girl, And Gomer Pile USMC. He also put together a number of specials for Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Channing that helped take many cast members to superstardom.

In 1973, Shapiro decided he wanted to be a personal manager to build deeper relationships and partnerships with clients, so he left William Morris and started a management company, later bringing West with him. Born Shapiro / West Associates.

Shapiro has directed Andy Kaufman for many years and has produced executive comedian specials such as “Andy Kaufman at Carnegie Hall” for Showtime and “The Andy Kaufman Special” for ABC. She was also behind other acclaimed comedy specials for TV, including: Showtime’s “Broadway Baby” with Ellen Busler; Starring Seinfeld in HBO’s “Stand-Up Confidential”; And Rainer and Mel Brook’s animated milestones 2000 year old man.

Shapiro also produces executive People on the moon With West in which Jim Carrey played Andy Kaufman. While playing Danny Divito as George Shapiro in Milos Forman, Shapiro played Mr. Besserman, a club owner who fired Kaufman early in his career, while West played a tough-nosed network executive.

Includes other feature films produced by Shapiro Comedian, summer hire And Summer school. He also produced documentaries such as The Bronx Boys and If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast hosted by Rainer. He is also the producer of the HBO documentary The Bronx, USA, which celebrated his city.

In recent years, Shapiro has created executive Seinfelds Comedians get coffee in the car, And Seinfeld’s Netflix comedy standup special Jerry before Seinfeld And 23 hours to kill. His last was a produced film Super Bob Einstein movie For HBO in 2021, about the life of the late actor and comedian Bob Einstein.

Shapiro is survived by Melody Shapiro, mother of his lifelong friend and children, son Danny Shapiro and daughter-in-law Hester Parker, daughter Carrie Shapiro Fuentes and son-in-law Mark Fuentes, Stephanie Shapiro and 5 grandchildren, Adam Shapiro. , Nathan Fuentes, Audrey Fuentes, Skyler Shapiro and Alana Shapiro.

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