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Brillstein, Bernie 1931-2008 (Bernard J. Brillstein, Bernard Jules Brillstein, Bernie J. Brillstein)

Brillstein, Bernie 1931-2008 (Bernard J. Brillstein, Bernard Jules Brillstein, Bernie J. Brillstein)

OBITUARY NOTICE—

See index for CA sketch: Born April 26, 1931, in New York, NY; died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, August 7, 2008, in Los Angeles, CA. Talent agent and manager, agency executive, producer, and author. Brillstein is remembered by colleagues and friends as a show business legend who had an uncanny instinct for picking a winner—or making one. After a modest start as a talent agent in New York City, Brillstein went on to create several successful management and production agencies of his own: the Brillstein Company in 1969, Brillstein-Grey Entertainment in 1991, and Brillstein Entertainment Partners in 2005. As a television producer, his earliest successes included the variety show Hee-Haw in 1969 and Saturday Night Live in 1975. Also, along with Jim Henson, he was credited with turning puppetry into an adult entertainment by means of the Muppets. As a film producer, Brillstein entertained millions with blockbuster comedies like The Blues Brothers (1980) and Ghostbusters (1984). As the chief executive officer of Lorimar Film Entertainment, he was also responsible for the award- winning drama Dangerous Liaisons (1988). Brillstein was also a talent agent of note; his clients included comedians Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd and television producer Lorne Michaels. Brillstein reportedly loved every element of show business and, to the friends and clients he mentored, he seemed to know every detail of the business. One of his books is titled The Little Stuff Matters Most: 50 Rules from 50 Years of Trying to Make a Living (2004). Brillstein never retired from his chosen profession, even as his health declined. He appeared in an episode of the popular series The Sopranos in 2004. He was the executive producer of both the television crime series Heist and the short comedy film The Pity Card in 2006. Brillstein told the story of his career on the front lines of the movie business in his memoir Where Did I Go Right? You're No One in Hollywood unless Someone Wants You Dead (2006).

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

BOOKS

Brillstein, Bernie, and David Rensin, Where Did I Go Right? You're No One in Hollywood unless Someone Wants You Dead, Little, Brown (Boston, MA), 1999.

PERIODICALS

Chicago Tribune, August 9, 2008, sec. 1, p. 16.

Los Angeles Times, August 9, 2008, p. B8.

New York Times, August 9, 2008, p. A15.

Times (London, England), September 1, 2008, p. 47.

Washington Post, August 13, 2008, p. B6.

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