George Shapiro, talent manager who pushed for 'Seinfeld', dies at 91

He was quickly promoted to agent, earning $38 a week, before eventually moving to the company’s Los Angeles office, where he specialized ...


He was quickly promoted to agent, earning $38 a week, before eventually moving to the company’s Los Angeles office, where he specialized in wrapping mid-1960s TV series like “Gomer Pyle-USMC” and “This girl” with actors, writers and directors represented by William Morris.

But Mr. Shapiro didn’t like being responsible for so many clients, so in 1973 he started his own management company to focus on a select few clients. Mr. West, with whom he had worked at William Morris, soon joined him and they ran Shapiro/West & Associates until Death of Mr. West in 2015.

To push for a sitcom for Mr. Seinfeld, Mr. Shapiro sent numerous letters to Brandon Tarticoff, the chairman of NBC Entertainment. The nudge eventually led to a meeting with Mr. Tartikoff and other network executives in which Mr. Seinfeld established a firm rule.

“Jerry made one thing clear,” Mr. Shapiro told the Television Academy. “He said, ‘I’m not going to play a shoe salesman or an accountant or a dad with a job. And he came up with the premise of the show, that he would play himself.

In recent years, Mr. Shapiro has produced “If you’re not in the obituary, have breakfast(2017), a documentary in which Mr. Reiner spoke to nonagenarians like Betty White and Dick Van Dyke, and “The Super bob einstein Movie” (2021), about the actor and comedy writer known for his ongoing television portrayal of Super Dave Osborne, an ill-fated parody of a daredevil.

Mr. Shapiro is survived by his estranged wife, Melody (Sherr) Shapiro, from whom he was divorced; his daughters, Carrie Shapiro Fuentes and Stefanie Shapiro; one son, Danny; five grandchildren; and his brother. His marriage to Diane Barnett ended with his death in 2005.

Mr. Reiner’s son, Rob Reiner, the actor and director, said Mr. Shapiro had been a nurturer, professionally and personally.

“He loved my dad, he looked up to him — he was like a father to him,” said Reiner, whose company Castle Rock Entertainment produced “Seinfeld.” “George loved being with my dad, and when he started to get older he would come over to the house and walk him around the block. That’s the thing you need to know about George: he took care of everyone. »

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Newsrust - US Top News: George Shapiro, talent manager who pushed for 'Seinfeld', dies at 91
George Shapiro, talent manager who pushed for 'Seinfeld', dies at 91
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