×

Shirley Herz, Longtime Broadway Press Agent, is Dead at 87

Industry veteran had a 65-year career in the industry

Shirley Herz, the storied Broadway press agent, died of complications from a stroke Aug. 11 in New York. She was 87.

Herz, who suffered the stroke July 18, repped close to 100 Broadway productions over her 65-year career in the theater, including “Legs Diamond,” “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “Dancing at Lughnasa,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Oh! Calcutta!” and the “Gypsy” revival that starred Tyne Daly. She was awarded a special Tony in 2009 and also received the Theater Hall of Fame Founders Award for her contribution to the theater.

The lobby of the Manhattan Theater Club’s Samuel J. Friedman Theater is named in honor of Herz and longtime colleague Bob Ullman, with whom she represented Josephine Baker.

Born Dec. 30, 1925 in Philadelphia, Herz attended U. of Pennsylvania but dropped out to move to New York for a career in theater. She apprenticed with legit PR maven Dorothy Ross, working on shows including 1954 musical “House of Flowers,” and was the personal press rep for Rosalind Russell.

Herz opened her own press office in 1971, working with a string of clients including Colleen Dewhurst, Arthur Laurents, Tallulah Bankhead, Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, Peter Allen and Angela Lansbury, whom Herz recently visited in Australia for three weeks during the actress’ stint in “Driving Miss Daisy” there.

Popular on Variety

Herz also had a robust Off Broadway client list that included Irish Rep, Abingdon Theater and the Living Theater. In 1984 she repped Charles Busch’s breakout title “Vampire Lesbians of Sodom.”

She was a member of the Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers and served on its Board of Governors for many years, and was also a member of the Broadway League and, for 25 years, the American Theater Wing’s Advisory Committee.

More Legit

  • Protesters demonstrate at the Broadway opening

    'West Side Story' Broadway Opening Night Sparks Protests

    Roughly 100 protestors gathered outside the Broadway premiere of “West Side Story” on Thursday night, carrying placards and chanting in unison to demand the removal of cast member Amar Ramasar. “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Ramasar has got to go,” they cried while holding signs that read “Keep predators off the stage,” “Sexual predators shouldn’t get [...]

  • West Side Story review

    'West Side Story': Theater Review

    Whittled down to one hour and forty-five minutes, “West Side Story” – with book by Arthur Laurents, music by Leonard Bernstein, lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and choreography by Jerome Robbins — has grown exceedingly dark and mislaid some of its moving parts in the new Broadway revival from edgy Belgian director Ivo Van Hove. (Can [...]

  • The Inheritance review

    'The Inheritance' Closing in March After Box Office Struggles

    “The Inheritance,” a sprawling and ambitious epic that grappled with the legacy of the AIDS epidemic, will close on March 15. The two-part play has struggled mightily at the box office despite receiving strong reviews. Last week, it grossed $345,984, or 52% of its capacity, a dispiriting number for a show that was reported to [...]

  • MCC theater presents 'Alice By Heart'

    Steven Sater on Adapting 'Alice by Heart' From a Musical to a Book

    When producers approached lyricist Steven Sater (“Spring Awakening”) to adapt Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” into a musical, his initial reaction was to recoil. His initial thought was that the book didn’t have a beginning, middle and an ending. But Sater pulled it off with his production of “Alice By Heart.” After an off-Broadway [...]

  • The Lehman Trilogy review

    Sam Mendes' 'Lehman Trilogy' Kicks off Ahmanson's New Season

    Sam Mendes’ “The Lehman Trilogy,” which took London’s West End by storm will be part of the Ahmanson’s lineup for the 2020-21 season. It will be joined by Broadway hits “Hadestown” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Artistic director Michael Ritchie announced the season that will also feature four fan favorites and another production to be [...]

  • Zoe Caldwell Dead

    Zoe Caldwell, Four-Time Tony Winner, Dies at 86

    Zoe Caldwell, an Australian actress with a talent for illuminating the human side of imposing icons such as Cleopatra and Maria Callas in a career that netted her four Tony Awards, died on Sunday due to complications from Parkinson’s disease, according to her son Charlie Whitehead. She was 86. Caldwell occasionally appeared in television and [...]

  • Cambodian Rock Band interview

    Listen: How 'Cambodian Rock Band' Became One of the Most Produced Plays in the U.S.

    One of the hottest trends in American theater this season is Cambodian surf rock from the 1970s — and that’s thanks to “Cambodian Rock Band.” Listen to this week’s Stagecraft podcast below: Playwright Lauren Yee’s genre-bending stage show, part family drama and part rock concert, has become one of the most-produced plays in the U.S. this season. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content