Agent and theater author Toby Cole died May 22 in Berkeley, Calif. of complications after a hip fracture. She was 92.
A lifelong devotee to progressive causes and avant-garde talent, from 1957-73 she ran New York’s Actors and Authors Agency. She helped launch the career of comedian Zero Mostel, and helped many actors revitalize their careers after they had been damaged by McCarthy-era blacklisting.
In addition to Sam Shepard, whom she guided from East Village one-act plays to major productions like “Operation Sidewinder” and “The Tooth of Crime,” she repped actors including Dolph Sweet, Roberts Blossom and Richard Dysart.
Cole championed writers including Peter Handke, Saul Bellow and Pablo Neruda, and helped increase recognition for the works of Bertolt Brecht. She was the U.S. representative of the estate of Luigi Pirandello.
Born Marion Cholodenko and raised in Newark, N.J., Cole studied acting at the New Theater School and worked as an actress before entering the agency business. Her many books included “Actors on Acting” and “Playwrights on Playwriting.”
She lived in Venice, Italy for several years with her late husband Aron Krich, where she edited books on Venice and Florence and was active in preservation.
In her later years, Cole lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she hosted and produced drama and literature programming for KPFA-FM.
She is survived by her son John Krich, a writer, and a granddaughter.