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Jim Wilhelm, a theatrical agent who represented actors including Olivia de Havilland, Daniel Dae Kim, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lea Salonga and Cybill Shepherd, has died. He was 68.
Wilhelm died Monday in New York after a brief battle with cancer, a publicist announced.
Wilhelm was one of the original founding partners of Douglas, Gorman, Rothacker & Wilhelm, one of New York’s most preeminent theatrical agencies since its inception in 1988. In 2010, he became the first theatrical agent to be made a voter for the Tony Awards.
Over the years, Wilhelm also counted as clients Lynn Cohen, Sandy Duncan, Lainie Kazan, Alice Ripley, Kathleen Chalfant, Elaine Paige, Sierra Boggess, Douglas Sills, Keala Settle, Paige O’Hara and Jodi Benson.
He served as the vice president of the board of directors of the National Association of Talent Representatives and was an active participant in, and a founding board member of, Broadway Cares, which assists those with HIV and AIDS.
Wilhelm, who received his degree in communications and theater from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, began his career in the theater as an actor (he earned his Equity card at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera). He worked as a stage manager, PR director and casting director before he became a talent agent.
Wilhelm conducted seminars and classes on theater at universities and conservatories across the country, including at NYU, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Boston Conservatory, Elon University and, most prominently, at the University of Cincinnati/College-Conservatory of Music, where he established a yearly scholarship to be awarded to an outstanding senior musical theater major in the name of his late client and friend, Broadway actress/recording artist Laurie Beechman.
After 45 years in New York City, he retired to Milford, Pennsylvania, in 2021.
Survivors include his husband of 40 years, Jeff Potter; brothers Tim and Keith; and sisters-in-law Sandy and Franceine.
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