Talent agent Jim Murray, a powerful figure in the Las Vegas entertainment business for many years, died Dec. 16 in Los Angeles after a brief illness. He was 85.
Murray secured Vegas gigs for artists including Paul Anka, Tony Bennett, Jack Benny, George Burns, Natalie Cole, Phyllis Diller, Florence Henderson, Tom Jones, Jerry Lewis, Barry Manilow, Liza Minnelli, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine and Joan Rivers.
He began in the talent business in 1943 with a job in the MCA mailroom in New York. His responsibilities increased over the years as the company underwent several mergers, and he finally worked through the merger that developed International Creative Management in the mid-’70s. For a time he led the ICM offices in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas simultaneously.
Born in the Bronx, Murray Fusco was a drummer in the Army Air Corps during WWII and with the Glenn Miller Band.
He is survived by his wife, Gloria; two daughters; and a sister.