Michael I. Rudell, a prominent entertainment industry attorney who represented high-profile clients such as novelists Dan Brown and John Grisham, and radio station WGBH, died on Monday in New York City. He was 77.
Rudell, whose career spanned more than five decades, was involved in all aspects of entertainment law, from film to television to executive employment deals to production work to representation of numerous well-known authors in their book publishing, film and television deals.
In addition to practicing law, Rudell wrote a monthly entertainment law column in the New York Law Journal for more than 40 years, lectured extensively and was the chairman of the American Bar Association’s entertainment committee, eventually receiving its Edward Rubin Service Award. He also gave a portion of his time to the Chautauqua Institution, a nonprofit education center in New York.
Rudell was born on March 6, 1943, in Passaic, N.J. He graduated Bucknell University in 1964 and New York University School of Law three years later. He joined Steve Weinrib, Leonard Franklin and John Vassallo to form Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo more than 55 years ago, becoming managing partner.
“Attorneys and staff at FWRV are devastated by the loss and will miss Mike deeply, both as a friend and as a colleague,” FWRV said in a statement. “His wicked wit, empathic personality, frustrating punning and extraordinary brilliance made him a star of the entertainment bar as well as the workplace.”
Rudell is survived by his wife of 50 years, Alice; their daughter Liza and her husband Nyero; his grandchildren, Sienna and Savannah; his sister, Rena Ballen; and his sister and brother-in-law Jane and Peter Haft.
Check www.fwrv.com or contact any of the attorneys for information regarding memorial donations.