APA Co-Founder Roger Vorce Dies at 88

ROGER VORCE -obit- Publicity-H 2018
Courtesy of APA

The former president and CEO of the agency trained under Lew Wasserman and represented Harry Belafonte, Johnny Cash, Marlene Dietrich and Ginger Rogers.

Roger Vorce, one of the co-founders of the Agency for the Performing Arts and a high-powered agent whose clients once included Johnny Cash and The Doors, died April 30 in Beverly Hills of natural causes. He was 88.

Vorce founded APA in 1962 when he was an agent at MCA, alongside MCA executives David Baumgarten and Harvey Litwin. In the decades following, the agency launched bureaus in New York, Nashville, Toronto and London and today represents a starry roster of clients including Tiffany Haddish, T.I., 50 Cent and Azealia Banks.

Vorce grew up in Medford, Massachusetts, and attended the University of Notre Dame. He then became an ensign in the U.S. Navy on the U.S.S. Agamemnon. After being honorably discharged, he began at the MCA agency in New York, training under the prominent Lew Wasserman, before becoming an agent himself in 1957.

Vorce, Baumgarten and Litwin started APA in 1962 in New York, and Vorce went on to represent Cash, The Doors, Rosemary Clooney, Liberace and other prominent artists including Harry Belafonte, George Hamilton, Tony Bennett, Marlene Dietrich, Ginger Rogers, Peggy Lee, Jefferson Airplane, Victor Borge and Peter Allen. Vorce relocated to Los Angeles in 1993, when he became president of the agency.

Vorce served as APA president until 1997, when he was named CEO. At the time of his death, Vorce was a chairman emeritus of the agency. 

“Nobody loved working with talent more than Roger,” APA president-CEO James Gosnell said Monday in a statement. “Through his devotion to our company, he allows us to stand on his shoulders. We come to work every day proud to continue his legacy.”

Vorce is survived by his sister, Mary Lee Stenstrom. A celebration of Vorce's life is slated to be announced at a future date.