Agent topped ICM's tube talent, has 'burning desire' to leave
HOLLYWOOD — Ron West, who headed up the TV talent department at ICM since 2000, has left the agency to become a manager.
Leigh Brillstein, who ran the TV talent division before West, will again take over the position.
West, who first joined ICM nine years ago, opted not to renew his contract with the tenpercentery, which expired at the end of this month.
The longtime agent, whose clients included Heather Locklear (“Spin City”) and David Boreanaz (“Angel”), said he had a “burning desire” to try something different.
“I was completely torn; they were nothing but generous and supportive,” West said. “I felt this was the right time in my life to start something new. I wanted to do something on a smaller scale, a more intimate way.”
West said he hasn’t yet ironed out the details for his new management shingle, including which ICM clients may join him. (Locklear, for example, will stick with her long-term manager rather than join West at his new shop.) The agent-turned-manager said he’s also scouting potential partners to help operate the new firm.
“I wouldn’t say there’s a template in place,” said West, who plans to dabble in feature representation as well as television.
ICM co-president Nancy Josephson said she tried to convince West to renew his contract with the agency.
“This is a personal decision of Ron’s to make a life change and start a small company where he’s the boss,” she said. “We hate to see Ron go, but we wish him the best. And we’re thrilled that Leigh has stepped up and will return as head of talent.”
Brillstein’s a 15-year ICM vet whose clients include recent double-Emmy winner Stockard Channing, as well as John Larroquette, Sam Waterston, Bonnie Hunt and Richard Dean Anderson.
She served as head of TV talent from October 1995 to January 2000. She stepped down from the post after that run to spend more time with her clients, Brillstein said.
“While I loved running the department, at that time I wanted to focus on client development,” she said.
Brillstein took ICM’s offer to return as department head “because they very graciously asked me after Ron decided to make a life change,” she said. “I felt very flattered to once again be part of this company in a management capacity.”
“And it’s something she’s very good at,” added Bob Levinson, ICM exec VP and head of worldwide television, to whom Brillstein reports. “She is an incredible administrator and an incredible agent. There was not even another thought as to who else would replace Ron.”
“Leigh has been a friend and mentor for all of my nine years at ICM,” West said. “ICM, the TV department and its clients are lucky to have her.”
Josephson said ICM has no plans to add another agent to take over West’s workload; his clients will instead be distributed throughout the TV talent department.
Among the clients with whom West worked while at ICM are Richard Dreyfuss, Peter MacNicol, Daniel Stern, Shannen Doherty, Emily Procter and Michael Rosenbaum.