Johnnie Planco, Longtime Manager and William Morris Agent, Dies at 68

Delfine Paolini
Johnnie Planco

His clients included Peter O'Toole, Lauren Bacall, Walter Matthau, John Cassavetes, Robert Altman, Paul Schrader and Judi Dench.

Johnnie Planco, a former William Morris agent and co-founder of the Parseghian Planco management and production company, has died. He was 68.

Planco died Sunday in New York after struggling with an infection that affected his brain and respiratory system, his daughter, Viewpoint publicist Sara Planco, announced.

Planco spent nearly three decades at the William Morris Agency, where he represented the likes of Peter O'Toole, Rock Hudson, John Cassavetes, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ben Gazzara, Madeline Kahn, Sterling Hayden, Lauren Bacall, Richard Harris, Tom Hanks, Richard Gere, John Malkovich, Vincent Gardenia, Michael Douglas, Anthony Quinn, Susan Sarandon, Abel Ferrara and Robert Altman.

After leaving the agency in 2000, he and Gene Parseghian launched Parseghian Planco, and their clients includes Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Schrader, F. Murray Abraham, Rosemary Harris, Judi Dench, Phylicia Rashad, Scott Glenn, Alexander Dinelaris, Don Scardino and Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller.

Parseghian Planco also produced the features Perfume (2001), starring Peter Gallagher, Omar Epps and Jeff Goldblum, and The Walker (2007), written and directed by Schrader and starring Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Lauren Bacall, as well as the William Mastrosimone play The Stone Carver.

In 2002, Parseghian Planco merged with the L.A. management firm Untitled Entertainment.

A third-generation New Yorker — his grandfather was a "Rough Rider" under Teddy Roosevelt — Planco graduated from Fordham University at Lincoln Center with a bachelor's degree in theater. He joined the WMA mailroom in 1972 and went on to become the youngest department head and senior vp in the agency's history.

In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife, Lois; his son, Alfred; and his daughter-in-law, Tiffany. A donation in his memory can be made to The Players Club.