Neil Papiano, Attorney for Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant and Joan Collins, Dies at 85

Courtesy of Nederlander Concerts
Neil Papiano

He also represented stars in horse racing and baseball, including Willie Shoemaker, Bob Baffert and Steve Garvey.

Neil Papiano, an attorney who represented Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant, Joan Collins and the Nederlander Organization, died Thursday in Arcadia, California, from complications of Alzheimer's disease. He was 85.

Fresh out of Vanderbilt Law School, Papiano worked for Oscar Trippett at the predecessor law firm to Iverson, Yoakum, Papiano & Hatch, to which he would become the managing partner through his retirement in 2014.

Papiano also served entertainment luminaries including Jimmy Nederlander Sr., Walter Matthau and Sondra Locke. He represented Hollywood Park racetrack, trainer Bob Baffert and jockeys Willie Shoemaker, Laffit Pincay Jr. and Chris McCarron in horse racing and Charlie O. Finley, Steve Garvey and Willie Davis in baseball.

Papiano represented business entities including American Airlines, Lockheed-Martin, Bridgestone-Firestone Tires, U.S. Steel, Bristol-Myers and the Coca-Cola Co. in corporate and civil litigation matters, and he counseled Los Angeles city and county officials as well as Ronald Reagan when he was California governor.

Born in Salt Lake City on Nov. 25, 1933, Papiano attended South High School before graduating from Stanford University with bachelor's and master's degrees in 1957. He went on to Vanderbilt University, earning his J.D. in 1961 as he was admitted to the California bar.

Papiano was on the board of directors or board of trustees for the L.A. Civic Light Opera and the L.A. Performing Arts Council. He set up two scholarships at Stanford and donated the Neil Papiano Play Park in Griffith Park.

A celebration of his life will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday at Cabot and Sons Mortuary in Pasadena. A donation in his name may be made to the Alzheimer's Association of Los Angeles.