A "legendary sports and entertainment attorney died Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, of natural causes after a long illness at his home in Beverly Hills," reports the Hollywood Reporter.
He was Ed Hookstratten, known as "Hook." He was 83.
Henry Bushkin, who was also a lawyer and who worked for Johnny Carson for 18 years, tells this story in his recent tell-all book "Johnny Carson": "The initial spark to write this book was ignited by my friend Ed Hookstratten. ‘Hook’ said to me one day in early 2008, ‘Why not write the book about you and Johnny? No one knew him like you did.’ Hook reminded me that he worked for Johnny for more than nine years [after Carson had fired Bushkin] and knew very little about him personally. With any unpleasantness years behind me, I decided he was right."
According to the obituary about Hookstratten written by our good friend Joe Flint in the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog, he was a “tough negotiator who wasn’t shy about raising his voice,” and also “something of an old-school agent who operated as a lone wolf.”
"He was always a one-man band," Tom Brokaw, who was a Hookstratten client, told the Times. ”I don’t think there will ever be anyone like that again."
While Brokaw initially turned down Hookstratten’s appeal to work for him, he decided to give the attorney a try when NBC offered him the anchor role for “Today.” That “made the brass at NBC quiver,” the story adds. An NBC executive "literally clutched his chest and said, ‘You hired The Hook? Oh, my God,’" Brokaw said.
Hookstratten ate lunch at The Grill almost every day and once drove a Rolls-Royce with a license plate that read “Hook.” He also had a talent for getting clients out of trouble spots, the Times piece says, adding: "Hookstratten is survived by his wife, Aimee, former wife Pat Crowley Friendly, four children and five grandchildren. His son Jon Hookstratten is a senior executive at Fox Broadcasting."