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Wasserman to receive star on Walk of Fame

first_imgHOLLYWOOD – Lew Wasserman, the man The New York Times once called “the last of the Hollywood moguls,” will posthumously receive the 2,349th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today. Actress Jamie Lee Curtis, Wasserman’s goddaughter, and Dreamworks SKG co- founder Jeffrey Katzenberg will speak at the late-morning ceremony in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Wasserman’s grandson, Casey Wasserman, will accept the star on his behalf. The younger Wasserman is chairman and chief executive officer of the Wasserman Media Group — a sports management, marketing and content agency — as well as owner of the Los Angeles Avengers Arena Football League team and head of the charitable Wasserman Foundation. Born in Cleveland in 1913, Wasserman was hired in 1936 as the national advertising director of the Music Corporation of America after his wife Edie complained about the way the music booking agency was publicizing bands her husband was booking at the Mayfair Casino in Cleveland. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityIn 1940, Wasserman became vice president of the agency’s new film division. During the decade, he was the agent for such stars as James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Judy Garland and Bette Davis. He was also the first agent for Ronald Reagan and helped him become president of the Screen Actors Guild. “He gave Ronnie some of the best advice in the business,” Reagan’s wife, Nancy, said in 2002, when Wasserman died at the age of 89 from complications of a stroke. In the 1950s, Wasserman oversaw the creation of a television division that would produce such hits as “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, “Marcus Welby, M.D.” “Miami Vice” and “Murder, She Wrote.” With Jules Stein as chairman and Wasserman as president, MCA became the world’s largest talent agency. However, it was forced by the Justice Department to dissolve the talent agency when it acquired Universal Studios in 1962. MCA then became the first entertainment conglomerate, with movie and television production, a music arm and the Universal Studios theme park. Wasserman’s marketing of “Jaws” in 1975 created the summer movie blockbuster, forever changing movies. Other classic films the studio produced during Wasserman’s tenure included “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial”, “The Sting”, “Back to the Future” and “Animal House.” Wasserman, as a top Democratic Party fundraiser, played a key role in cementing the ties between the entertainment industry and politics. He was also lauded for his charitable efforts, launching the Wasserman Foundation in 1952 and raising funds for the Motion Picture & Television Fund, the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA and Music Center of Los Angeles County. “He was one of the smartest men I ever met and in more than intellectual ways,” former President Bill Clinton said upon learning of Wasserman’s death. “He just came across as someone who understood what life was all about and was pulling for people to have good lives.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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