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THR's Women in Entertainment 2011: Power 100

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    85. Leslie Siebert
    85
    Leslie Siebert
    Senior Managing Partner, Gersh Agency

    Two weeks after graduating from UCLA with a degree in communications in 1984, Siebert opted against a law school education for a gig with the head of business affairs at the Gersh Agency. Within a year and a half, she had been made an agent; two and a half decades later, the Los Angeles native is running the talent agency alongside Bob and David Gersh.

    "Either I'm a slow mover or a creature of habit," Siebert, 49, quips of her one and only employer.

    PHOTOS: THR's 2011 Women in Entertainment Power 100

    The married mother of two teenage boys says she knew "agenting" was her calling when she was an intern for a string of casting directors during college. "I realized it when someone said to me, 'Come up with 10 names for this role' -- it would take me all day," she explains. "But if someone said, 'Here are 10 people to sell,' that's what I can do."

    She's proven as much in the past year, having put Debra Messing in NBC's midseason ensemble musical hopeful Smash, Madeleine Stowe  on ABC's freshman darling Revenge, Angela Bassett opposite Samuel L. Jackson on Broadway in The Mountaintop and longtime client and indie film queen Catherine Keener in four upcoming film projects.

    One of her biggest thrills this year came when longtime client Kyle Chandler scored a surprise Emmy win for the final season of NBC's Friday Night Lights. "I'm excited about finding him his next Emmy-winning show," she says of the actor, who is currently shooting the big-screen thriller Broken City with Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe.

    When she isn't focused on her clients, Siebert -- who in 1996 became the agency's first partner who wasn't a family member -- relies on weekend retreats to her beach house for tennis and bike rides with her family to unwind. "My passion is my family," adds Siebert, who is one of the inaugural mentors in THR's Women in Entertainment Mentor Program.

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