You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Jerry Bick

Literary agent, producer

Jerry Bick, 81, a literary agent-turned-producer who teamed with Robert Altman on “The Long Goodbye” and “Thieves Like Us,” died Monday in Los Angeles after a long illness.

A New York City native who grew up in Connecticut, Bick served in the Navy in the Pacific during WWII and studied at the Sorbonne in Paris, then taught English at the U. of Georgia after graduating from the school. He also worked as a baseball announcer in the South.

He broke into the film business as a publicist at MGM’s New York office, and in 1957, moved to Hollywood, where he worked as an agent at MCA, Goldstone/Tobias and the Kurt Frings Agency. In the early 1960s, he opened the Jerry Bick Agency, a literary office where he handled such authors as Jim Thompson and Daniel Mainwaring.

Giving up representation to become a producer, Bick, who had moved to London, in 1969 produced the German-language medieval drama “Michael Kohlhaas — Der Rebel,” starring David Warner and directed by Volker Schlondorff.

Long a Raymond Chandler enthusiast, he produced Altman’s modern-day take on Philip Marlowe, “The Long Goodbye,” with Elliott Gould, in 1973, and the following year, he and Altman reteamed on the period outlaw drama “Thieves Like Us.”

Bick produced the thriller “Russian Roulette” directed by Altman’s editor Lou Lombardo, and remade another Chandler novel, “The Big Sleep,” starring Robert Mitchum, before taking on Jonathan Demme’s “Swing Shift” with Goldie Hawn.

Due to his representation of Thompson’s titles, Bick was also instrumental in setting up the French adaptation of the author’s novels directed by Alain Corneau and Bertrand Tavernier.

A man of letters, Bick was renowned for his extensive personal library and had recently finished writing a book, “While Still France.”

Married and divorced from Louise Fletcher, the actress, and Peggy Fannin Ray, he is survived by his sons by Fletcher, John Dashiell Bick and Andrew Wilson Bick.

No funeral is planned, but a memorial service will be scheduled within the next couple of weeks.

Donations are suggested to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, 710 W. 168th St., New York City, 10032. D.C.

More Scene

  • Marianne Rendon, Matt Smith, Ondi Timoner

    Robert Mapplethorpe Biopic Team Talks 'Fast and Furious' Filming

    Thursday night’s New York premiere of the Matt Smith-led biopic “Mapplethorpe” took place at Cinépolis Chelsea, just steps from the Chelsea Hotel where the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once lived — but director Ondi Timoner had no sense of that legacy when she first encountered him in a very different context. “When I was ten [...]

  • Producer Mel Jones poses at the

    'Dear White People' Producer Talks Hollywood's 'Black Tax'

    “Dear White People” and “Leimert Park” executive producer Mel Jones is extremely familiar with growing up and watching “white men in all types of roles and never [seeing] ourselves as a part of those narratives.” Now, there may be some more opportunities for writers of color to tell their own stories, but, she notes, there [...]

  • Rebel Wilson Isn't It Romantic

    Rebel Wilson on Twitter Gaffe: 'It Was Purely to Lift My Fellow Plus-Size Women Up'

    “I obviously misspoke in that situation,” Rebel Wilson told Variety at the premiere of her latest film “Isn’t It Romantic” Monday, acknowledging the gaffe in which she claimed to be the first-ever plus-sized woman to star in a romantic comedy during an October appearance on “Ellen.” Following the comment, Wilson was met with criticism from Twitter [...]


    How Lena Waithe Convinced Halle Berry to Team Up for 'Boomerang' TV Series

    Halle Berry wasn’t immediately sold on the idea of a “Boomerang” reboot. The 1992 romantic comedy, which starred Berry, Eddie Murphy, and Robin Givens, told the tale of cocky ad executive and insatiable ladies’ man Marcus (Murphy) who meets his match in his new boss Jacqueline (Givens) — an exec who treats him the same [...]

  • Rebel Wilson and Miley Cyrus'Isn't it

    Why Liam Hemsworth Wasn't at His 'Isn't It Romantic' Premiere, but Wife Miley Cyrus Was

    Liam Hemsworth had every intention of bringing his wife, Miley Cyrus, to Monday’s premiere of his new romantic comedy “Isn’t It Romantic.” However, the Aussie actor was forced to skip the evening because of some “health things.” That didn’t stop Cyrus from attended the red carpet shindig at the Theater at the Ace Hotel in downtown [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content