Edgar F. Gross, Hollywood Business Manager and Producer, Dies at 85

Edgar F. Gross - Publicity - H 2016
Courtesy of Gross Family

His clients included William Friedkin, John Boorman, Gene Hackman and Joe Cocker.

Edgar F. Gross, one of the first business managers in the entertainment industry and an executive producer on four films directed by John Boorman, died Sunday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, his family announced. He was 85.

During a career that spanned five decades, Gross represented such clients as writer-directors William Friedkin, Christopher McQuarrie, Nicholas Meyer and Paul Schrader; actors Richard Gere, William Petersen, Angelica Huston, Linda Evans and Gene Hackman; and music acts Joe Cocker, The Commodores, Bill Withers, Kansas and ELO.

According to Gross' family, Hackman was "inspired by Ed’s sense of style and look for his character portrayal" of producer Harry Zimm in Get Shorty, Barry Sonnenfeld's 1995 film about Hollywood.

Boorman was another one of his clients, and Gross served as an exec producer on the director's Excalibur (1981), The Emerald Forest (1985), Hope and Glory (1987) — for which Gross won a Golden Globe — and Where the Heart Is (1990).

Gross retired in 2010.

A native of Philadelphia, Gross moved to California with his family at age 16 and graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1949. He attended UC Berkeley and then graduated from UCLA in 1953 and Harvard Law School in 1956.

He became a partner at Winthrop, Erlich and Gross, ultimately working for I.H. Prinzmettle and for clients including Alfred Hitchcock and Gary Cooper. Gross then formed a law firm with a former Harvard classmate, brother-in-law Bob Eisenstein, that became International Business Management, one of the preeminent business management firms in the industry.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Marcellina, a two-time Emmy nominee who exec produced about two dozen telefilms; children Sheryl, Nicholas and Matthew, the president of EuropaCorp TV; and grandchildren Zachary, Emma, Lara, Teddy, Molly, Sam and Josh.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Exceptional Children's Foundation.