Talent agent Alper remembered

Manager/agent's client list once included Lewis, Mancini, O'Hara

Henry Alper, a former talent agent for actors and composers, died of cancer Nov. 22 in Cathedral City, Calif. He was 89.

Born in New York City, Alper began violin studies as a child and moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1935. He broke into the entertainment industry as a vocalist who also played the violin. He served in the army during WWII, where he received the Purple Heart.

He returned to Los Angeles where he teamed up with his brother, pianist Bernie Richards. In 1948, Alper joined MCA as a talent agent booking top nightclub acts. His clients included Xavier Cugat, Perez Prado, the Harry James Orchestras, singers Gogi Grant and Anna Maria Alberghetti, and Jerry Lewis, after the comedian’s split with Dean Martiin.

Later Alper was transfered to MCA’s music department, representing film composers Elmer Bernstein, Henry Mancini, Jerry Goldsmith, and John Willliams. When the talent agency wing of MCA was dissolved in 1962, Alper became a personal manager, representing Maureen O’Hara, Bob Cummings and several composers.

He later worked in real estate development.

Alper is survived by his wife, Patricia; two sons; a daughter; a stepdaughter; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and a brother.

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