Barbara Dreyfus, the well-liked head of motion pictures for Will Packer’s production company and a longtime agent, died Friday morning at Sherman Oaks Hospital in Los Angeles of unknown causes. She was 55.
“Barbara had an amazing spirit and passion for her family and her career,” Packer said. “She will be missed for her creativity and fearlessness as an executive, but more importantly for her incredibly giving nature as a person.”
Dreyfus had led the development of comedy and drama projects through Packer’s first look deal with Universal Pictures since its inception in 2013. Prior to taking the production job, she was a senior agent in the motion picture literary department of United Talent Agency, where she represented a broad range of prominent screenwriters and directors.
“Barbara Dreyfus was a tremendous colleague, agent and friend,” UTA said in a statement. “We were lucky to have her as part of the UTA family for so many years. Her passionate representation, warm heart and infectious laughter filled the halls here and made every day a bit more enjoyable. She will be missed by us all.”
She was raised in New York City and earned a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern U’s film school. She began her career with apprenticeships in New York and Los Angeles, then joined the legal department of the William Morris Agency.
Her career as an agent began at the InterTalent agency where she trained under agent Bill Block. Two years later, she moved to ICM with the merger of the two agencies. After eight years at ICM, she joined UTA in 2001.
Block said, “Her wit and laugh and love for the game will always be with us.”
While an agent, Dreyfus represented Scott Burns, Andrew Adamson, Charles Stone, Dana Stevens, Adam Herz, Rob Ramsey and Matthew Stone, Barry Fanaro, Hilary Seitz, Matt Manfredi and Phil Hay and Geoff Rodkey .