Gunther Schiff, Longtime Entertainment Attorney, Dies at 89

Courtesy of Schiff Family
Gunther Schiff

A partner in several firms, he represented producers in collective bargaining with the Writers Guild and the Screen Actors Guild during his career.

Gunther Schiff, a prominent entertainment attorney who represented producers in collective bargaining with the Writers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild, has died. He was 89.

Schiff died Oct. 14 of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills, according to CAA. One of his sons, Hans, is an agent there.

A son of physicians, Schiff was born on Aug. 19, 1927, in Cologne, Germany. He and his family fled for Los Angeles, and he graduated from Hollywood High School. Schiff served in the U.S. Navy from 1945-46 and attended Georgetown University, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1949 and a law degree in 1952.

Schiff served on the staff of John McCormack of Massachusetts, then majority leader of the House of Representatives, before returning to L.A. to establish a law practice. He specialized in entertainment law and became a partner in several firms.

In addition to his collective bargaining work, Schiff handled countless contract negotiations on behalf of individual artists and other clients and was known for his arbitration work for the Superior Court and the Court of Appeals.

Survivors also include his wife of 57 years, Jo Ann; other children Eric, Mary Alice and Jage; nine grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Schiff was a supporter of the Young Musicians Foundation, and the family invites donations to the YMF to honor his life.