Lawrence “Larry” Lewis, a longtime talent agency administrative and financial corporate executive and consultant, died of natural causes in Edgewater, N.J., on May 30. He was 89.
Lewis worked with major talent, TV, film and music executives and managers over the years including MCA’s Lew Wasserman, GAC’s Herb Siegel, CMA’s Freddie Fields and David Begelman and WMA’s Nat Lefkowitz, Lee Stevens and Lou Weiss.
Lewis was named assistant controller at MCA Artists Ltd in 1955, when MCA was still in the talent agency business. He joined General Artists Corp (GAC) in 1960 as vice president and treasurer, holding the same title when GAC merged with Creative Management Associates in 1969, becoming CMA. Lewis joined the William Morris Agency in 1971 as controller, later becoming senior VP and treasurer until his retirement in 1992.
When he joined WMA, Variety declared, “Lewis has been regarded as one of the top financial administrators in the ranks of talent agencies. Lewis will become the only man who has been in high-level administration posts at the three largest showbiz agencies.”
Born in the Bronx, he served in combat in Europe during WWII, earning three battle stars, the Bronze Star, the Croix de Guerre with Palm awarded by Gen. De Gaulle to 88th Infantry Division members in addition to other medals. After the war, he attended Columbia University, where he received a degree in economics and accounting.
He has been a supporter of Jewish and other charities on his own and through foundations in which he was an officer.
Survivors include his wife, Elinor; son Andy Lewis, exec VP, finance and contract administration, Warner Bros. Worldwide Television Distribution; daughters Barbara Lewis Marco and Susan Lewis-Sadoun; four grandchildren; and a sister.