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One of the Most Famous, Powerful and Colorful Agents in Hollywood History, Who Truly Broke New Ground, Dies at 79

Oct 17, 2011  •  Post A Comment

To stand out as an agent in Hollywood, it helps to be colorful. One of the most colorful agents in the history of Hollywood, who broke new ground by exploding the glass ceiling, has died at age 79.

The agent was Sue Mengers, who died of pneumonia at her home in Beverly Hills.

In an obituary in The New York Times, Michael Cieply writes that Mengers was "Brilliant, schmoozy and often devastatingly funny…" He added that she "broke through a glass ceiling to become one of the first women to wield true power in the agency business. She captured the spirit of an era in which agents could be as colorful as their clients.

"Over the years, Ms. Mengers’s client list at a series of agencies would include [Barbra] Streisand, [Ali] MacGraw, Michael Caine, Faye Dunaway, Brian De Palma, Cybill Shepherd and others who populated movies during a cinematic surge that began in the late 1960s. She was known as a tough operator in an agency game that was then dominated by men like Freddie Fields and Stan Kamen."

Cieply reports that at Mengers’ bedside when she died was "Boaty Boatwright, an agent at International Creative Management and a longtime friend," as well as MacGraw and Sidney Poitier’s wife, Joanna. Mengers husband, the Belgian-born filmmaker Jean-Claude Tramont, died in 1996, the article says. Mengers leaves no survivors.

The Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog had this from " ‘Twilight’ producer Karen Rosenfelt, who was Mengers’ secretary at ICM in the early 1980s: ‘It’s the end of an era. She was a fiercely loyal friend and agent to her clients. She broke the glass ceiling for many women in the industry. She was a guiding light in my career.’ "

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