×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

TV producer Small dead at 83

Agent shaped careers of Moore and Somers

Agent, actor and producer Edgar Small died of lung cancer in Los Angeles on Dec. 23. He was 83.

Small worked as a producer at several studios and then ran several agencies, where he helped shaped the careers of actresses including Demi Moore, Lynda Carter and Suzanne Somers.

Small, whose mother was a big band singer and whose uncle was studio chief Dore Schary, grew up in New York City. After he joined the Army, he was bitten by the stage bug while serving in Caserta, Italy, when cast in uniform by playwright Thornton Wilder in an armed services production of Wilder’s “Our Town.”

Born Stuart Edgar Waldman, he took the name of his stepfather, talent agent Paul Small, and began appearing in Broadway plays before making his motion picture debut in 1948 in RKO’s “The Window.”

He then produced and directed live radio programs before moving to Los Angeles.

His first positions were assisting Don Hartman, head of production at Paramount, and then Jerry Wald at Columbia.

In 1954, Small joined MGM as assistant to producer Edwin Knopf, where he worked on films including “The Glass Slipper” and “Diane.”

He returned to producing in 1970 with “God Bless the Children,” which became short-lived series “The Psychiatrist.”

Small began as an agent in 1956 to help his mother, who had taken over Paul Small’s talent agency upon his death. The agency’s clients included Ginger Rogers, Barbara Stanwyck and Sammy Cahn. In 1961, he negotiated a buyout with the Ashley-Steiner Agency, the precursor to today’s ICM. He formed the Witzer Small Agency with Ted Witzer in 1970 and in 1975 he started Artists Career Management.

Small’s expertise was launching up-and-coming actors; he worked with Angie Dickinson, Crispin Glover, Ray Liotta, Sidney Poitier and George C. Scott.

In 1985, Small retired from the agency business and returned to acting, appearing in films, TV shows and commercials. He also wrote a memoir, “From Agent to Actor: An Unsentimental Education.”

He was active in the Screen Actor’s Guild’s BookPals program, reading to at-risk children in elementary schools.

He is survived by two sons and a granddaughter.

Donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Actors’ Fund.

More TV

  • The First -- "The Choice" -

    'The First' Canceled at Hulu After One Season

    Hulu has grounded the space exploration drama “The First” after one season, Variety has confirmed. The series hailed from Beau Willimon and starred Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone in Penn’s first regular television role. “The First” was set in the near future and followed the first human mission to Mars. Hulu gave the show a straight-to-series order in [...]

  • Nicole Maines Supergirl Trans Hollywood Portrait

    TV Roundup: 'Supergirl' Drops First Look at Nicole Maines as TV's First Trans Superhero

    In today’s TV News Roundup, The CW releases a first look at Nicole Maines on “Supergirl” and Variety unveils an exclusive look at Gabriel Iglesias’ new comedy special.  FIRST LOOKS truTV has released the first trailer for season 2 of Emmy-nominated series “At Home with Amy Sedaris.” The variety sketch comedy returns Tuesday, Feb. 19 at [...]

  • The Beatles Eight Days a Week

    Imagine's Documentary Arm Sets First-Look Pact With Apple (EXCLUSIVE)

    Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries has set a first-look pact with Apple to develop non-fiction features and series. The deal comes as Imagine is investing heavily in the premium non-fiction arena. The company in June recruited RadicalMedia veteran Justin Wilkes to head Imagine Documentaries as president. The deal suggests that Apple sees docu [...]

  • Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most

    Fyre Festival Documentaries: The 10 Most Outrageous Moments

    It is perhaps only fitting that two documentaries about the disastrous Fyre Festival, one of the most high-profile fraudulent failures in history, would arrive during the same week — a fitting cap on a tragicomedy of errors that, as both films outline in excruciating detail, unfolded like a slow-motion plane crash in the spring of [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Unveils Financial Data for DTC Unit, Sets April 11 for Investor Presentation

    Disney has rejiggered its business segments for earnings reporting to make room for the new unit housing its global streaming operations. Disney on Friday released restated earnings for fiscal 2018, 2017 and 2016 to give investors and financial analysts better visibility into its spending on the launch of the Disney Plus, ESPN Plus and other [...]

  • annapurna logo

    Annapurna TV Taps Amazon's Patrick Chu as Senior VP, Promotes Ali Krug

    Annapurna TV has brought on Patrick Chu as the division’s new senior VP. Prior to that, he had served as an executive for Amazon in drama, production, and development, where he oversaw small-screen adaptations of “Hanna” and “The Hunt.” He will develop and produce new TV projects, focusing on drama, at his new role at [...]

  • Emmys: Why The TV Academy Finally

    Why the TV Academy Finally Ended Emmys DVD Madness, and Who Might Benefit the Most

    Three years ago, Netflix overwhelmed Television Academy members by sending out a 20-pound shipment of DVD screeners. It was an exercise in excess, as insiders suggested that the streamer spent as much as $4 million to produce and ship the multiple boxes. Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos hated the idea of sending out these [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content