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Sylvia Hirsch

Sylvia Hirsch, one of the first women agents to mine the book and script-writing fields on the West Coast, died Thursday of cancer in her Los Angeles home. She was 86.

Hirsch began her career in Chicago, where she was an actress for local radio programs. She was also an active member of the Actor’s Company of Chicago.

In 1943, she joined the William Morris Agency as a secretary and worked her way up as an agent, where she specialized in representing writers for television.

Hirsch represented Emmy-winning writer John McGreevey (“Roots II,” “Ruby and Oswald,” “The Waltons”), as well as Blanche Hanalis (“Little House on the Prairie”), Frederick Kohner (“Gidget”) and Fay Kanin.

In 1967, she ankled WMA and joined the Lew Weitzman Agency, now known as Preferred Artists.

She is survived by her husband, Howard Hirsch; her sister, Ruth Engelhardt Courtney, a VP in television business affairs at William Morris; and a nephew.

Funeral services will be private and the family asks that donations, in lieu of flowers, be sent to the Motion Picture and Television Fund.

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