Marty Shapiro, Veteran Talent and Literary Agent, Dies at 81

Courtesy of Susan S Moss
Marty Shapiro

He partnered with Mark Lichtman for more than three decades, then opened his own firm in 2005.

Marty Shapiro, a longtime talent and literary agent, died Sept. 25 at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif., his daughter Susan Moss announced. He was 81.

Shapiro partnered with Mark Lichtman at The Shapiro-Lichtman Talent Agency, representing clients in television, film and multimedia, from 1969 until launching his own firm, Marty Shapiro Management, in 2005.

His company, primarily representing clients on the literary side of the business, teamed with other agents including Martha Millard of Sterling Lord Literistic in New York and Diana Tyler of MBA Literary Agents in London.

Shapiro had worked alongside his daughter since 1993 and was still active in the industry at the time of his death.

Martin Stephen Shapiro was born in New York City on Jan. 27, 1936. His father was managing director of the famed Paramount Theatre in Times Square.

A year after graduating from Syracuse University as a theater arts major in 1957, Shapiro came to Los Angeles and began his career at the Lillian Small Agency. He then joined MCA/Universal as an agent, working for his mentor and father-in-law, Irving Salkow.

After MCA divested itself of its talent agency, Shapiro went to work at General Artists Corp., where he met Lichtman.

He was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and BAFTA.

In addition to his daughter and her husband Michael, survivors include his wife of 59 years, Judith; sons Kenneth and Howard; and grandchildren Ben, Matilda, Clara and Ruthie.

A public funeral will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 at Mount Sinai Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills.