Mitch Douglas, Longtime ICM Literary Agent, Dies at 78

Mitch Douglas
Courtesy of Lawrence Leritz

Mitch Douglas with Carol Channing

His clients included Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Lanford Wilson, John Kander and Fred Ebb.

Mitch Douglas, a literary agent who spent three decades at ICM and represented the likes of Tennessee Williams, Graham Greene, Arthur Miller, Lanford Wilson and Howard Koch, has died. He was 78.

Douglas died Nov. 5 of metastatic brain cancer at Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, his friend and client Lawrence Leritz announced.

Other clients for the Kentucky native included Broadway duos John Kander & Fred Ebb and Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee; playwrights Robert Anderson (Tea and Sympathy), Frederick Knott (Dial M for Murder) and Reginald Rose (12 Angry Men); and novelists Manuel Puig (Kiss of the Spider Woman) and Vera Caspary (Laura).

Douglas also represented memoirs written by actors Shelley Winters, Eartha Kitt, Hermione Gingold, Peter Marshall and Rose Marie and the 21 original cast members of A Chorus Line, plus books authored by show business journalists Anne Edwards and J. Randy Taraborrelli.

In addition to Broadway and West End efforts, Douglas championed off-Broadway successes, including Nunsense, Boobs! The Musical — produced and choreographed by Leritz — Bat Boy and Song of Singapore.

After 30 years with ICM — he began in the agency mailroom — he owned and operated the Mitch Douglas Literary Agency in New York until his death.

Calvin Mitchell Douglas was born on March 27, 1942, in Murphysboro, Kentucky. After earning his bachelor's degree in theater from the University of Kentucky, he became general manager at the Jenny Wiley Music Theatre in Prestonsburg, Kentucky.

He was awarded two Kentucky Colonel commissions by state governors for his contribution to the arts, and none other than Williams once described him as "firm, feisty and fun."

Survivors include his partner, Leonardo Rendon.