LOS ANGELES — Norman R. Brokaw, a trailblazing agent who represented Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Clint Eastwood and other top Hollywood stars, has died at age 89.
Brokaw’s son, David, says his father died after a long illness yesterday in Beverly Hills, California.
Brokaw ascended from the mailroom of the William Morris Agency to become its CEO in 1989. Along the way he helped steer actors to work in the fledgling television industry in the 1950s and later signed politicians such as Gerald Ford and Alexander Haig so they could chart careers after they left public service.
His plan involved teaming up underutilized film stars with directors who skilled at delivering low-budget movies within days, his family said in a news release. That led to early television series such as “Racket Squad” and “Public Defender.”
He later represented the producers behind hit shows such as “The Andy Griffith Show,” “Gomer Pyle” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”
He also served as Bill Cosby’s agent, helping get him cast on “I Spy,” which broke television’s color barrier. Brokaw went on to craft deals that led to “The Cosby Show.”
The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2010 bestowed its Governor’s Award on Brokaw, the only agent to receive the honor.
Brokaw and Monroe once stopped at the Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles for dinner, where the actress would first meet her future husband, Joe DiMaggio.
His is survived by his wife, Marguerite Longley, three sons and three daughters. — AP