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Thompson on Hollywood

Obit: Pioneer Sue Mengers Was Hollywood's Most Powerful Woman Agent

The minute I learned that legendary ICM agent Sue Mengers had died, I contacted Elaine Dutka, who had memorably profiled the uber-agent for the LA Times. Here's Dutka's obit. Sue Mengers, the first female agent to penetrate the Hollywood boy's club, died Saturday at her Beverly Hills home. Flamboyant, charming, witty, and abrasive, she was the most powerful woman on the agency scene in the 1970's and 1980s--arguably the most famous agent of her time.
  • By Elaine Dutka
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  • October 17, 2011 7:22 AM
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Weekly Wrap: Oscar Talk, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Moneyball, Gordon-Levitt Interviewed on 50/50

Weekly Wrap: Oscar Talk, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Moneyball, Gordon-Levitt Interviewed on 50/50
WEEKEND PREVIEW:
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 23, 2011 10:29 AM
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Taylor Lautner: What Happens If Abduction Fails?

Taylor Lautner, the Twilight teen idol, has been poised for movie stardom. But what if his first solo attempt, the upcoming action film Abduction, fails? Lautner's agents at William Morris have posed the ripped 19-year old at a big star, lining up multi-million dollar roles (he will receive $5 million for Abduction), but what if he can't move past Twilight? (Neither Kristen Stewart nor Rob Pattinson has scored in a big way on their own outside the Twilight franchise.)
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 23, 2011 8:19 AM
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  • 6 Comments

How Butter Used Bachmann, Highest-Paid Man in Entertainment, How NBC Snagged the Jackie O Tapes

In an effort to promote the political satire Butter, whose reviews in Telluride and Toronto were less than stellar, the film's distributor Harvey Weinstein has raised the movie's political references to Michelle Bachmann in order to make a "blatant effort to make [Butter] into something people will be talking about," he wrote in a statement formally inviting the Republican politician to co-host the premiere of the film in Iowa in a few months. Weinstein asked one of the film's actresses, Olivia Wilde, to read the missive:In 20 years of coming to the Toronto Film Festival, I've never released a statement for a film. But I would like to take this moment to formally invite Republican congresswoman from Minnesota and Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann to co-host with me the big premiere of 'Butter' in Iowa in a few months from now.
  • By Maggie Lange
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  • September 14, 2011 8:02 AM
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WME's Graham Taylor's LAFF Keynote: "We are in a revolution and now is our time."

WME's Graham Taylor's LAFF Keynote:  "We are in a revolution and now is our time."
WME's Graham Taylor is a pivotal player on the indie financing/packaging/selling scene. He moved from Endeavor to take over WME's Global unit after the agency merger. Here's some of his speech from the LAFF's "Money Talks & Art Matters" panel series: the full length version is here.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • June 18, 2011 9:31 AM
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Hollywood's Creme de la Creme Memorialize Class-Act Agent Ed Limato

Long-Time ICM agent Ed Limato--who forged the careers of Richard Gere, Mel Gibson, Denzel Washington and Michelle Pfeiffer--stood out among Hollywood's agent elite as a class act. He was old-school, yes, and he cared deeply about his clients. Agenting wasn't so much a business to him, although he was competitive: I remember him hanging late at a Twentieth Century Fox premiere party, hoping to catch a word with the recently agentless Kevin Costner. Limato looked after Robert Downey, Jr., for years, and Winona Ryder, too. He loved his exotic fish, and his white patent leather shoes. He was tickled pink when Vanity Fair did a photo shoot. Here's my obit.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • January 12, 2011 8:05 AM
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  • 1 Comment

CAA's TPG Capital Deal: Show Me the Money!

The contracting entertainment economy that compelled producer Graham King to fill the distribution void with FilmDistrict has not been kind to the talent agencies. Even dominant agency CAA is looking for cover, as studios make fewer movies and reduce talent fees. Thus CAA is announcing today that they have found a taker for a minority stake in the company. CAA is getting an infusion of cash from private investment firm TPG Capital (reportedly, hundreds of millions; they were seeking $250 million).
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • October 1, 2010 7:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

CAA Orchestrates Roadside Pickups I Love You, Phillip Morris and Biutiful

Falling on the heels of Roadside Attractions' acquisition of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Biutiful, Roadside is again partnering with P & A supplier Liddell Entertainment on orphaned project I Love You, Phillip Morris, in which Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor play ill-starred lovers. States Roadside co-president Howard Cohen: “Jim and Ewan once again prove themselves to be among the rare group of A-list actors who take the risks."
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • August 26, 2010 6:15 AM
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Ari Emanuel vs. Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson is not having a good month. His ex-girlfriend, Oksana Grigorieva, fighting him in court, taped him saying nasty racist things and went public with them. He's being investigated for domestic abuse. His beloved agent of 32 years, Ed Limato, passed away last weekend after a long illness. And with him no longer providing protection, his agency WME summarily dumped him.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 9, 2010 12:30 PM
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  • 10 Comments

Legendary Hollywood Agent Ed Limato Dies at 73

Hollywood talent agent Ed Limato died Saturday at home in Beverly Hills. He was 73. He had been in and out of Cedar Sinai in recent months.
  • By Anne Thompson
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  • July 3, 2010 10:47 AM
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  • 3 Comments

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