Dave McKeown, a talent manager and former employee of her firm, Shirley Grant Management, shared the news in a tribute. “I’m saddened to announce the passing of a golden woman in the entertainment industry, Shirley Grant,” McKeown wrote. “For over 42 years, Shirley Grant Gatsik was a dedicated and brilliant light for young and emerging artists getting started out in show business. She was always ahead of the curve, pushing for diverse opportunities for a broad spectrum of clients whom she represented even before the industry began to do so.”
Born in Jersey City, Grant spent her early career as a personal manager based in Teaneck, N.J., while raising two children who were a part of show business.
She launched her own talent management firm, Shirley Grant Management, in 1978, using contacts she had from coordinating her children’s showbiz gigs. Since then, the business has nurtured talents including the Jonas Brothers, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Christina Ricci, Allison Smith and JD Roth, as well as Broadway stars Alex Boniello and Michael Lee Brown.
“She loved late night phone calls with her clients’ parents or industry associates she’s known since the very beginning of their own careers,” McKeown continued in his tribute. “Shirley especially loved when she got to make those calls to her clients with a booking.”
Grant is survived by her son Rob, daughter Jeri and grandchildren Dan and Elissa Kadison. Donations can be made to the Actors Fund.