Literary Agent Caren Bohrman Dies at 56


Caren Bohrman, a literary agent and founder of The Bohrman Agency who brokered screenplays for The Fugitive, Crazy/Beautiful and scores of other films, died Nov. 18 after a long battle with cancer. She was 56.

A native of Los Angeles, Bohrman had been under the care of her sister Catherine in the Oakland area since mid-August. She also is survived by her brother David Bohrman, the ABC News and CNN veteran who now serves as president of Current TV.

Their father was Stan Bohrman, a longtime broadcast journalist in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia who hosted the daily talk show Tempo on KHJ-TV (Channel 9) in L.A. in the late 1960s and early '70s with Maria Cole and Regis Philbin.

During nearly three decades at the forefront of literary representation and management, Caren Bohrman was directly involved in nearly 200 screenplays and pilots.

She represented David Twohy when he penned Warlock (1989), the action fantasy starring Julian Sands, and when he co-wrote The Fugitive (1993), starring Harrison Ford in the remake of the 1960s TV series.

Bohrman also worked with writer-director Bryan Michael Stoller on a big-screen adaptation of Jennings Michael Burch’s 1985 book They Cage the Animals at Night, which was to be Michael Jackson’s directorial debut. The film treatment of the book, an emotional tale about a boy abandoned at orphanages and institutions, went unfinished, with Jackson dying in 2009.

In addition to The Fugitive and Warlock, Bohrman’s produced films included the classic adventure tale The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984); the Kirsten Dunst starrer Crazy/Beautiful (2001); The United States of Leland (2003), starring Don Cheadle and Ryan Gosling; and the Dane Cook comedy Employee of the Month (2006).

Bohrman also secured the U.S. theatrical release of the Salvador Carrasco-directed and Placido Domingo-produced The Other Conquest (1998), about neo-colonialism from an Aztec point of view. Cinescene described the film as “one of the more astonishing feature film debuts in recent memory.”

Recently, she worked on the Maria Bello and Michael Sheen vehicle Beautiful Boy (2010) and Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum's The Vow (2012). In April, it was announced that the romantic comedy Admissions, starring Andy Garcia, Vera Farmiga and Tom Skerritt, would be made from a script written by her clients Adam Rodgers and Glenn German.

At the time of her death, Bohrman had more than a dozen projects in various stages of development. "She welcomed neophytes, out-of-towners and newcomers, reasoning that a good and even great idea could come from anywhere," her sister said.

Bohrman, who attended Sonoma State University, wanted to become a journalist in the model of her father. She shifted gears by the mid-1980s to enter representation, entering the business as a receptionist and -- within six months -- was representing some 45 leading television and feature writers.

She established literary departments at several agencies, then went out on her own, establishing The Bohrman Agency in 1994.

Her sister noted that Bohrman "was a last-of-a-breed agent who eschewed 'omnibus' projects -- with actors and studios attached to a script as a condition of advancement -- in favor of a boutique approach to script development, lavishing attention on language, plot, structure and -- in particular -- the writer."

"Caren was fiercely loyal to her ideals and never compromised," Catherine added. "She believed that everyone is deserving of love and attention and gave herself fully to her many wonderful clients and every project she worked on."

"I got fired from my first job as an agent after four years because they said, 'You’re too honest. So, we can’t trust you anymore,' " Bohrman said in an undated interview posted on the website Scriptologist.com.

"This taught me about the lack of integrity in Hollywood. I'm very straightforward and honest. So I decided I was going to prove to these people that you can be honest and straightforward and still be very successful."

In addition to her brother and sister, Bohrman is survived by her sister-in-law Mary and partner Michael, niece Amber, grandniece Sloan and nephew Harrison.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her name can be made to Catherine or Michael Hruska to help cover uninsured medical health care costs (Bohrman had major surgery two years ago without insurance, her sister said) or to hospices and fire departments. 

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