There’s a reason Paul Bloch was a giant in this industry, and that he handled the biggest talent for so long. Paul was, simply, the epitome of decency. In an era where fame, fortune and loyalty are fleeting, Paul managed to treat us all with respect.
It didn’t matter if you were the president of a network, the hotshot producer for Barbara Walters or Katie Couric, or the booker trying to corral names for the third-place morning show. He called you back — and NOT three days later. He listened as you plead your case. He gave you a shot.
In the years before email and iPhones, Paul was a colorful character: He loved to talk about his most recent trips to Hawaii and his ever-growing collection of Hawaiian shirts. But he wasn’t just a character, he HAD character.
As a young booker at “CBS This Morning,” I needed to find a big name. Fast. We were broadcasting our struggling show from the Ed Sullivan Theater. I knocked on a lot of doors — Paul answered. He brought me Bruce Willis, at 8 a.m., the morning after the “Diehard 2” premiere. Bruce, of course, was brilliant and my executive producer was thrilled. I gifted his daughter Rumer with a little CBS Teddy Bear. Bruce gave me a kiss.
You never forget the person who comes through for you. Paul delivered.
He was supportive of his colleagues, willing to offer advice and good for an occasional piece of gossip (never about his clients, past or present). He’d call if he was unhappy about something and, together, you’d figure it out. He knew everyone, and if you couldn’t find someone, Paul would put you in touch. When I applied for my current job at “Access,” Paul was my enthusiastic reference.
And if he trusted you, he was generous. He found a way to give us an exclusive with Sylvester Stallone in Paris, another time in Cannes, or with John Travolta in his New Jersey hometown. Paul was a great cheerleader for his A-list clients and would pick up the phone to make sure you didn’t miss a special performance.
The last time I saw Paul was at a premiere for a Bruce Willis film in New York. Willis introduced himself, forgetting that we had met many times over many years. I started to explain, but then caught Paul’s eye — he remembered. I remembered. We knew, and that was all that mattered.
Thank you, Paul. You will be missed.
Christine Fahey is a senior producer at “Access Hollywood” and “Access Live.”