Larry Sherman, New York Actor and Onetime Donald Trump Publicist, Dies at 94

Character actor Larry Sherman, who also served as publicist for Donald Trump in the 1980s, died Aug. 26 in New York of natural causes. He was 94.

Sherman received degrees in theater and journalism from the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill, kicking around Manhattan with some stage roles and bit parts before segueing into a successful career as a sports journalist. He covered the 1962 Rome Olympics, and wrote for The Herald Tribune and Newsday before landing at the Long Island Press, where he worked for 25 years.

When the newspaper folded in 1977, Sherman moved to Los Angeles to take a job as head writer for the game show “The Joker’s Wild.” When that program went dark, he moved back to New York looking for work. “He began calling on his friends, and it was a guy at the New York Times, I think, who said ‘I hear this guy Trump is looking for a guy to do PR,’” recalled Sherman’s son, Charles Sherman, who runs his own public relations firm based in Los Angeles.

In the early 1980s, when Trump was trying to help launch the challenger U.S. Football league, he hired Sherman to handle publicity for the New Jersey Generals, a position the former sports writer held until the termination of the USFL in 1985.

Sherman describes his father as “a very liberal guy,” and admits he shares that political bent, but has nothing but kind words to say about his father’s former boss. “There is a part of Trump that is so caring, so compassionate and very loyal. I can honestly say we would have lost our house – everything – if it hadn’t been for him. Trump took a liking to my dad, who had no PR experience, and hired him on the spot. They were both hard workers, and got along really well.”

Charles Sherman said he would occasionally run into Trump, “at the Vanity Fair Oscar parties, and once when I went to one of the presidential debates, in San Clemente,” and recalls him saying of his father, “’Great, great, guy! Love Larry. Best PR guy I ever had.’ My dad got Trump his first ‘60 Minutes’ interview, his first Sports Illustrated cover, and a lot of other press.”

After a brief stint with the New York Arrows soccer team Sherman returned to his first love, acting, which had always been something of a sideline. Just out of college, throughout the ‘50s and ‘60s, he appeared in stage productions including “The Traitor,” “Maid in the Ozarks,” “The Last Mile,” “Marriage is for Single People” and “I Gotta Get Out.”

“He made the rounds of auditions along with Walter Matthau and Sidney Poitier. Some made it further, but my dad always loved that world,” Charles Sherman recalls.

His film career during that period saw him share screen time with Humphrey Bogart in “Deadline USA,” work as actor Myron McCormick’s double in “The Hustler” and take direction from Alfred Hitchcock as Cary Grant’s cab driver in “North by Northwest,” and also appeared in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and “The Hustler.”

In his later years, he had small roles in “Manhattan,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “The Terminal,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “One Fine Day,” “Scenes From a Mall,” “Reversal of Fortune,” and had his final role in “The Comedian” in 2016.

His later television roles included seven years on “The Royal Pains,” and stints on “The Sopranos” and “The Colbert Report.” Sherman became a familiar face during a more than 20-year run as Judge Colin Fraser on the original “Law and Order.”

Sherman is survived by Marion, his wife of 60 years, two children, Charles and Flory, and two grandchildren. Donations in Larry Sherman’s name may be made to the World Jewish Congress.


More Film

  • Tribeca Film Institute

    Tribeca Film Institute, Pond5 Announce Latest Indie Film Grantees (EXCLUSIVE)

    Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) and Pond5 have once again teamed up to offer microgrants to indie filmmakers and artists. The grants, which go as high as $7,500, are intended to help storytellers during “in-between” phases of their projects, such as research, festival travel or community screenings. They’re the kind of unexpected costs that can lead [...]

  • On-Location Filming Slides 3.9% in Los

    On-Location Filming Slides 3.9% in Los Angeles in Second Quarter

    Held down by a lack of soundstage space, total on-location filming in greater Los Angeles declined 3.9% in the second quarter to 8,632 shoot days, permitting agency FilmLA reported Thursday. “Although our latest report reveals a decline in filming on location, local production facilities tell us that they are operating at capacity,” said FilmLA president [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    U.S. Box Office, Movie Admissions, Ticket Price Fall in Second Quarter

    U.S. movie admissions slid 2.5% in the second quarter of 2019 to 347.8 million, with box office receipts declining 3.8% to $3.22 billion on the heels of a record-setting year, the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) reported Thursday. The overall ticket price for the quarter slipped 1.3%, or 12 cents, to $9.26, compared to [...]

  • Terminator: Dark Fate

    'Terminator: Dark Fate' Will Definitely Be R-Rated, Tim Miller Reveals at Comic-Con

    “Terminator: Dark Fate” is not just a reboot of a beloved franchise, it’s a return to hardcore form that will receive an R rating from the MPAA. Announced at San Diego Comic Con’s opening Hall H panel on Thursday, the move is a departure from the PG-13 status of recent reboot attempts like “Terminator: Genisys” [...]

  • In Search

    Rushlake Takes World Rights for Two Acclaimed African Docs (EXCLUSIVE)

    DURBAN–Cologne-based Rushlake Media has acquired world sales rights for “The Sound of Masks,” by Portuguese filmmaker Sara Gouveia, and “In Search,” by Kenyan director Beryl Magoko. The announcement was made Thursday at the Durban Intl. Film Festival, where both documentaries are screening. Rushlake’s Philipp Hoffmann says the two films will bolster the company’s growing slate [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content