‘Seinfeld’ Producer, Personal Manager, 91 – The Hollywood Reporter

Bronx-born personal manager and comedy champion George Shapiro worked with his late business partner, Howard Westbringing the iconic sitcom Seinfeld On TV, it’s dead. He is 91 years old.

Shapiro died of natural causes Thursday night at his Beverly Hills home, a publicist announced.

Shapiro and West also helped guide Carl Reiner, Andy KaufmanPeter Bonerz, Marty Feldman, Gabe Kaplan, Robert Wuhl, Bill Persky & Sam Denoff, Austin & Irma KalishDick Claire and Jenna McMahon, Sam Bobrick and Norman Ballash.

The two first met at the grammar school at PS 80 in the Bronx, where they were launching Seinfeld, served as executive producer of the NBC show that aired from 1989-98.their relationship with Jerry Seinfeld Starting at the Los Angeles Comedy Club, the trio were among the 1993 Emmy winners for Best Comedy Series.

Most recently, they participated in Seinfeld’s Comedian in car drinking coffee.

Shapiro was born on May 18, 1931, and his love of laughter dates back to his childhood in PS 80 and a group of friends including West.

“Howie had just moved from another neighborhood in the Bronx and was a freshman at school,” he once recalled. “Howie was alone on campus, sitting on the steps near a school entrance. I invited him to play basketball, baseball, curb and touch with my friends and I. Love at first sight and from that day we became Best friends. We were partners in comic book buying and we bought our first car together.”

In a chat in 2007 Television Academy Foundation On the interview website, Shapiro said he was looking forward to the double-show at his neighborhood theater on Saturday, but was most excited about the comedy movie.

“I can barely sleep when I know there’s an Abbott & Costello movie or Laurel & Hardy coming out,” he says. “I was sitting in the theater and it felt like someone was tickling me because I was laughing so hard. Without even thinking about it, I guess I just tend to be around funny people.”

Shapiro spent a summer as a teenager at the Tamiment Resort in Poconos, where he met Dick Shawn, Pat Carroll, Carol BurnettBarbara Cook, future director Herbert Ross, and an equally important talent agent.

“I didn’t even know what an agent was, but they came to the show, chatting with the girls, chatting with the comedians,” he recalls. “I said, ‘This is your job? Watch a show, have a good dinner, come to a resort with a lake? I have to look into it.

After graduating from NYU and serving in the U.S. Army, Shapiro, through his relationship with Reiner (Shapiro’s aunt was Reiner’s wife Estelle), interviewed for a job in William Morris’ mailroom in New York and became the Primary agent in the company’s packaging department. Agent in 1955, earning $38 a week. He recruited West to join him.

Shapiro realized that big comedy shows and productions were moving to Hollywood, so he started rumors at William Morris that he would be moved to the Los Angeles office. His self-fulfilling prophecy came true, and so did West.

In Los Angeles, Shapiro brings together talent for the following TV shows The Steve Allen Show, the girl and Gomez Pile, U.S. Marine Corps and titled Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Channing.

In 1973, Shapiro left William Morris to start the Shapiro/West Associates with his friend.

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George Shapiro (right) and Howard West in 2004
Getty Images

Shapiro, who was Kaufman’s personal manager for years, negotiated the contract that brought the comedian to ABC. taxi. He also executive produces Andy’s Amusement Park 1979 Special for ABC and Andy Kaufman at Carnegie Hall A 1980 Showtime special.

Shapiro produced other TV specials featuring Seinfeld and Elaine Busler, and hosted the animated versions of Reiner and Mel Brooks‘ classic 2000 year old man conventional.

Shapiro and West executives produced Milos Foreman– Orientation man on the moon (1999), starring Jim Carrey as Kaufman. (although taxi Star Danny DeVito plays him in the film, Shapiro appears as the club owner who fired Kaufman early in his career, and West plays a network executives. )

“George is one of the cutest people on the planet,” DeVito said in a statement. “We have to see that smiling face every Friday night taxi sky. He never misses a show. “

Other features made by Shapiro include summer rental (1985), by John Candy and tear tornand summer classes (1987), with Mark Harmon and Kirsty Lane.

He also produced documentaries such as comedian (2001), which recorded Seinfeld’s return to the stage of stand-up comedy; bronx boy (2003); 80-year-old Bronx boy still playing (2013); If you’re not in the obituary, eat breakfast (2017), moderated by Reiner; and super bob einstein movie (2021).

2019 Documentary Bronx, USA Follow Shapiro back home to relive the streets, shops and memories of his youth, and reflect on the close friendships he forged there that have stood the test of time.

Shapiro is a founding advisory board member of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York. “He believes strongly in our mission to celebrate and preserve the legacy of comedy, and we are delighted to welcome him to our grand opening event,” said Executive Director Journey Gunderson.

“Laughter is unbelievable, it’s powerful,” he often says.

Survivors include Melody Shapiro, his lifelong friend and mother of the children – son Danny and his wife Hester; daughter Carrie and her husband Mark ; and Stefanie – brother Don; and grandchildren Adam, Nathan, Audrey, Skylar and Alana.

A memorial service will be announced.able to pass California Community Foundation.