Joseph Eric Rice, a talent agent who headed JR Talent Group, died unexpectedly at his home in Laguna Beach, Calif. He was 61.

Rice headed his own talent agency based in Studio City where he primary handled actors. Earlier in his career, he headed the theatrical department at Abrams Artists Agency.

Rice was born in Miami but grew up in the San Fernando Valley. He was a regular dancer on “American Bandstand” as a teenager in the 1970s. He earned a degree in economics from UCLA and got his start in the mailroom at William Morris Agency. He later worked at the Lew Sherrill Agency.

Rice was known to friends for his love of collecting classic cars and creating Zen gardens with succulents. He died Sept. 7.

Rice’s survivors include a wife, Gabriella; two children, Tane and Maya; three brothers and a sister.