Personal Manager Jon Mercedes Dies at 65

Jon Mercedes - P 2013
Courtesy Roger Neal

His clients included 1980s primetime stars Charlene Tilton, Claudia Lonow and Susan Richardson.

Jon Mercedes, a personal manager, publicist, producer, writer and film executive, died Monday at his Hollywood home from colon cancer. He was 65.

In 1978, Mercedes founded Mercedes/Cohen Management and United Public Relations, and two years later launched The Mercedes Co. His clients included Charlene Tilton (Dallas), Claudia Lonow (Knots Landing), Susan Richardson (Eight Is Enough), Tracey Bregman (The Young and the Restless) and Jimmy Baio (Soap).

Mercedes served for two years as vp development and creative affairs for Esparza/Katz Productions, the company behind the TNT/New Line Cinema film Gettysburg (1993), and was chairman and CEO of Fiesta Studios.

Mercedes wrote for the Canadian game show Party Game and later became a staff writer for ABC’s Happy Days. He was an executive producer on Pale Horse Pale Rider, a 1980 short film that featured Tilton and Ray Walston.

Born in Cuba, Mercedes produced more than 50 Latino stand-up shows at The Improv and The Comedy Store in Los Angeles.

Mercedes attended Los Angeles City College and UCLA, where he was a film major. He was a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the Hollywood Radio and TV Society, Independent Film Project/West, the Screen Actors Guild and WGA West, where he served as chairman of the Latino Writers Committee.

Survivors include his brother Manuel, sisters Myra and Susy, two nephews and a niece. According to publicist Roger Neal, Mercedes did not want a memorial service and asked that his ashes be spread near the Hollywood sign.