December 14, 2003 |
There have been since 1998 three major books about Lew Wasserman, totaling, exclusive of end matter, 1,421 pages. Kathleen Sharp's contribution to this pile of not entirely scintillating reading matter is novel in that it purports to be a dual biography of the man and his wife, Edie, who, the writer argues (not entirely persuasively), was his equal in Hollywood power.
June 8, 2003 |
It's fitting that the most candid revelation from the late Hollywood mogul Lew R. Wasserman in Connie Bruck's new biography, "When Hollywood Had a King," is Wasserman's admission that the dumbest thing he ever did was selling his beloved MCA Inc. to a Japanese electronics company in 1990. As someone who throughout his life was Hollywood's sphinx, Wasserman's confession is significant.
July 16, 2002 |
Lew Wasserman died last month with his legend intact, which is more than you'll be able to say for most of today's superstar CEOs. The reason was simple: He kept his mouth shut. In an era when you couldn't walk past a newsstand without seeing a smug winner's smile from some entertainment tycoon, Wasserman kept a Godfather-like code of silence, going to his grave without penning a memoir or even talking to Vanity Fair.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 16, 2002 |
One by one, they stood up to tell how Lew Wasserman had affected their lives: the Arkansas governor he helped turn into a U.S. president; the Oscar-winning director whose career almost was short-circuited when he didn't hit it off with screen legend Joan Crawford; the Roman Catholic cardinal who found a non-Catholic willing to help out the church's poorer schools. Wasserman, viewed by many as the last of the Hollywood moguls, was their great friend.
June 7, 2002 |
With his oversized black-rimmed glasses, elegant dark suits and pristine white shirts, the late Lew Wasserman came to personify Hollywood power. Along the way, his look became an archetype for legions of talent agents today. As the former chairman and chief executive of the Music Corp. of America, Wasserman, who died Monday, not only created a way of doing business but also inspired the unofficial dress code that governs the way Hollywood agents look today.
June 5, 2002 |
Lew R. Wasserman, who died Monday at age 89, was the only film executive of the last 40 years whom one could compare to the great generation of movie pioneers: Carl Laemmle, William Fox, Adolph Zukor, Louis B. Mayer, the Warner brothers, Harry Cohn. Wasserman was not one of them--he came much later--but he was their equal in rank because, like them, he shaped the institutions of the industry and fashioned its culture after his image. Where he led, everyone followed.