Abner (Abbey) Greshler, a well-known talent agent, died Thursday in Santa Monica of pneumonia. He was 83.
He helped pioneer the idea of package agreements, which combined top stars, directors and others to complete “superdeals.”
He was an agent at Diamond Artists Ltd., his own Los Angeles firm that operated from 1945 until his retirement in 1992.
Among his clients were Tony Randall, Jack Klugman, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, David Janssen, Vince Edwards, Eva Marie Saint and Cloris Leachman.
He began his career booking acts in the Catskills, where he created the team of Martin and Lewis.
In Hollywood, Greshler assembled artists and supporting teams for television shows including “The Odd Couple,””Ben Casey” and “The Fugitive.”
Survivors include his wife, a son, a daughter and a granddaughter.
Donations should be sent to the Free Clinic, Share Inc. and the Young Musicians Foundation.
* * *
Lyricist Mack David, who wrote the words for more than 100 pop and film tunes including theme songs for “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Walt Disney’s “Cinderella, “”It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and “Cat Ballou,” died Thursday in Rancho Mirage. He was 81.
Among David’s more famous compositions include lyrics to accompany songs from “Ryan’s Daughter” (“It Was a Good Time”), “Gone With the Wind” (“My Own True Love”) and “Cinderella” (“A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes”).
David also penned the words for “It Must Be Him,” performed by Vicki Carr.
David created the lyrics for themes from several popular 1960s detective shows, including “77 Sunset Strip,””Hawaiian Eye” and “Surfside 6.”
David received eight Oscar nominations during his career as a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers. He is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
David’s brother Hal, the former president of ASCAP, said David had outlasted many of those with whom he collaborated — Jerry Livingston, Duke Ellington, Johnny Green, Count Basie and Jimmy Van Heusen.
David is survived by his wife, a son, a daughter and two grandchildren.
Funeral services were set for noon today at Mount Sinai Memorial Park in Los Angeles.
* * *
Helen Ludwig, wife of veteran film distribution executive Irving Ludwig, died Friday in Bel Air following a long illness. She was in her 80s.
She worked for many years in the New York school system.
Irving Ludwig was Buena Vista Distribution’s first vice president and domestic sales manager and served as president of Walt Disney’s distribution organization from 1959-80.
In addition to her husband, survivors include two daughters, Arlene, West Coast publicity director for Buena Vista Pictures Marketing; and Jackie Bragg; and a brother.
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Mount Sinai Memorial Park, 5950 Forest Lawn Dr.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the American Diabetes Assn., 3460 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 900, Los Angeles, Calif., 90010.