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Howard Rothberg, an agent and personal manager for comedy legends Mel Brooks and Larry Gelbart, died Jan. 17 in Los Angeles after a five-year battle with cancer. He was 72.
After a stint as an associate producer on CBS’ The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late 1960s, Rothberg became an agent at ICM (formerly Creative Management Associates), where he worked in the motion picture department with his mentor, future producer and studio head David Begelman.
In the mid-1970s, Rothberg founded his own personal management business, handling Brooks, Gelbart and actors Dom DeLuise and Brooks’ wife Anne Bancroft, among others, and developing film projects with Sid Caesar.
Rothberg changed careers in the ’80s and pursued ventures in the emerging personal computer industry.
A Chicago native, Rothberg graduated from the University of Illinois with degrees in finance and marketing. He served in the Air Force reserves and worked as a stockbroker before moving to Los Angeles in 1969.
Survivors include children Alli and Daniel, his sister Arlyne, his life partner Dina and his ex-wife Darryle. A tribute to Rothberg is planned by his family and friends to take place in the spring.
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