Joel Cohen, Literary and TV Packaging Agent, Dies at 92
His clients included Doris Day, Garry Marshall and Norman Lear writers
Joel Cohen, a literary and TV packaging agent whose clients included Doris Day and Garry Marshall, died Sept. 22 of cancer in Los Angeles, his family announced. He was 92.
Survivors include his son Andy Cohen, a former ICM agent who is now a manager at Octagon.
At the Ashley Famous Agency, Cohen spent years packaging TV shows for such companies as Desilu, Quinn Martin Productions and Talent Associates, and he did all of longtime client Marshall’s series (The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley, etc.) at Paramount/ABC.
Cohen’s impressive roster of clients ranged from Pulitzer Prize winners who wrote for the prestigious CBS anthology series Playhouse 90 in the 1950s to the team that ran ABC’s The Love Boat.
At a time when agents seldom were allowed on sets, Cohen represented so many writers on writer-producer Norman Lear’s shows (All in the Family, Maude, Good Times, etc.) that he had his own parking spot on the Sunset Gower lot in Hollywood.
After a stint as the president of Day’s production company, Cohen partnered with Sy Fischer to run Taft Entertainment, which then owned the fabled Hanna-Barbera animation studio and Sunn Classic Pictures.
He helped with the 1978 NBC miniseries Holocaust and the 1986 Andrew V. McLaglen NBC miniseries On Wings of Eagles, the true story of the Ross Perot-funded attempt to rescue U.S. hostages in Iran.
He retired on his 65th birthday.
Cohen served as a naval aviator during World War II. At age 22, he commanded a nine-member, four-engine bomber over the South Pacific.
After the war, Cohen came to Hollywood and swept the stage at KCOP-TV. He landed a job as a literary agent at The Frank Cooper Agency, then moved to Ashley Famous.
In addition to his son Andy, survivors include son Alex, daughter-in-law Lisa and grandchildren Caitlin, Elsie and Benjamin.