He Had Talent

By Norman Boucher / November/December 2009
November 20th, 2009
What do Tony Curtis, Florence Henderson, Ben Gazzara, and Elliott Gould have in common? All were represented by talent agent Tom Korman, who died of heart failure in Los Angeles on July 30. He was 76.

Born in New York City, Korman graduated from Woodmere Academy before attending Brown, where he concentrated in literature and acted in Sock & Buskin productions. After graduation, he worked at Grey Advertising in New York City before moving on to the Ashley Steiner talent agency.

In 1963, Korman formed his own company, the Artists Group, taking on Anthony Perkins, Julie Harris, and Gould. A decade later he was in Los Angeles, where he cofounded Contemporary Korman Artists, which represented such Hollywood mainstays as Ethel Merman, Joan Collins, Ricardo Montalban, Henderson, and Gazzara. In 1986, Korman joined the Agency for the Performing Arts, where his clients included Michael Feinstein and Jerry Orbach.

In the late 1990s, Korman became a personal manager specializing in resuscitating the careers of stars whose careers were in decline. He also spent the final decade of his life working for Project Angel Food, helping in the fight against AIDS, cancer, and other illnesses. He received the Project Angel Food Hour Glass award in 2006.

Korman is survived by his wife, Pamela. 

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November/December 2009