Longtime talent agent Neil Bagg died Monday, February 3, at his home in Los Angeles. He had been diagnosed with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, in 2012. He was 54.
Bagg began his career as a talent agent in the William Morris Agency training program. He subsequently worked as an agent at Contemporary Artists, the Agency, Susan Smith & Associates and finally Don Buchwald & Associates, where he worked for 16 years representing actors in film, TV and theater until he left on medical leave in 2012.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Bagg grew up with a love for the arts. At age 17, he became a local celebrity, hosting “Pulse,” a popular talkshow in South Africa. He moved to Los Angeles to attend UCLA, where he received his BA and later his MFA. Pursuing his wish to become an actor, he was cast in the play “Viva Vittorio,” at the Mark Taper Forum, starring opposite Vittorio Gassman, following the production to Broadway.
He then banded together with a small group of fellow actors who would pose as managers and submit each other on projects. He was so successful at finding work for his friends that he applied for a spot in the WMA training program.
Bagg is survived by his wife, Jana Howard Bagg; a daughter and a son; his mother; and his two brothers.
Donations may be made in support of his children to the Neil Bagg Children’s Memorial Fund or to the ALS Association.
A memorial service is being planned. For more information, please contact Hannah Roth at Don Buchwald & Associates.