Milton Pickman

Veteran industry executive Milton Pickman died Jan. 15 at his Beverly Hills home. He was 84.

A former assistant to Columbia Pictures head Harry Cohn, Pickman held a variety of posts in the entertainment industry, including executive assistant to RKO and Columbia production veepee Jerry Wald, general manager of Samuel Goldwyn Studios, assistant to 20th Century Fox production head Buddy Adler and general manager of Jack Wrather Enterprises.

As head of his own talent agency in the 1950s, Pickman represented such clients as Ethel Merman, Michael Caine and Van Heflin.

Pickman later was partnered with literary agent Irving Lazar, with whom he’d gone to law school at St. Lawrence U.

Later, Pickman worked as a consultant to Hollywood companies, as well as on the board of directors of the recreational vehicle company Fleetwood Enterprises. He was involved as legal counsel in the recent litigation over the movie and merchandising rights to James Dean.

Pickman originally was a reporter for the Brooklyn Eagle. He segued into showbiz as a publicist for Florenz Ziegfeld, which led him into management of such big bands as Tommy Dorsey, Larry Clinton, Shep Fields and Ted Lewis.

In the late 1930s, Pickman worked as an exec in the band department of MCA, helping establish the company’s Beverly Hills office. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, serving for a time as an aide to the Commanding general at Hampton Roads, Va., port of embarkation.

Pickman is survived by his son Charles Pickman, daughter Carrie Powers, a sister, two brothers and one grandchild.

Services are scheduled for today at 2 p.m. at Pierce Bros. Westwood Memorial Park.

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