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Lou Weiss

  • Birthplace: New York City, New York
  • Birthday: March 22
Date of passing: 
April 08, 2019

Obituary

Obituary: 

Lou Weiss was an American talent agent.

Weiss helped establish the William Morris Agency as a major player during the rise of the television industry. Weiss started in the mailroom at the New York William Morris agency in 1937, with the help of his comedian/actor uncle and WMA client, George Burns.

During World War II, Weiss was drafted into the U.S. Army. Upon returning from the war to his job, Weiss reported to agency chairman Abe Lastfogel who guided Weiss into the variety department. There, Weiss would meet and work with talent that he would later usher into the burgeoning television industry.

Lou Weiss was an American talent agent.

Weiss helped establish the William Morris Agency as a major player during the rise of the television industry. Weiss started in the mailroom at the New York William Morris agency in 1937, with the help of his comedian/actor uncle and WMA client, George Burns.

During World War II, Weiss was drafted into the U.S. Army. Upon returning from the war to his job, Weiss reported to agency chairman Abe Lastfogel who guided Weiss into the variety department. There, Weiss would meet and work with talent that he would later usher into the burgeoning television industry.

He was an early practitioner of “packaging” — the bringing together of talent for a TV show using clients pulled from the agency’s rosters.

Weiss represented such talent as Alan King, Danny Thomas, Dick Powell, Merv Griffin, Bill Cosby, Buddy Hackett, Jackie Mason, Jack Paar, Carol Channing, Chevy Chase, Howard Cosell, Sammy Davis, Jr., David Frost, Barbara Walters, Diana Ross, along with Motown Records president Berry Gordy, as well as the entire Motown roster.

Weiss spent nearly seven decades at William Morris, rising to become executive vice president and the head of the agency’s worldwide TV division. He ultimately attained the rank of co-chairman, alongside Norman Brokaw. He retired from the agency in 2007, most recently holding the title of chairman emeritus.

Weiss died April 8, 2019, in Los Angeles, California. He was 101.

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