Mumbai: Esteemed talent manager and Primetime Emmy-nominated producer Bernie Brillstein, who helped launch such perennial programs as Saturday Night Live and The Muppet Show, died Thursday in Los Angeles at Barlow Respiratory Hospital. He was 77.
Having worked as agent, manager, producer, studio head and more during his 50-plus years in entertainment—began his journey in the mailroom at William Morris Agency in 1956.
The New York native was a packaging trailblazer, one of the first to bring his talent clients together with projects he produced.
He went on to guide such stars and creative as Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, John Belushi, SNL creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels, Muppets creator Jim Henson, Brad Pitt, Adam Sandler, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Bill Maher, David Spade, Gary Sinise, Courteney Cox, Natalie Portman, Andy Garcia, Jimmy Smits, Martin Short, John Larroquette and many more.
In 1969, he founded the Brillstein, which later became Brillstein-Grey Entertainment upon collaborating with Brad Grey in 1991 and Brillstein Entertainment Partners in 2007.
Brillstein’s 1999 memoir, Where Did I Go Right? You’re No One in Hollywood Unless Someone Wants You Dead, remained a Los Angeles Times best-seller for 10 weeks.
He is survived by his wife, Carrie; three sons, Michael, David and Nick; two daughters, Kate and Leigh; his son-in-law Abe and grandson, Alden.