Entertainment

George Shapiro Dead: Manager of Jerry Seinfeld and Andy Kaufman Was 91


George Shapiro, manufacturer and longtime supervisor of Jerry Seinfeld, Carl Reiner, Andy Kaufman and different comedy stars, died May 26 at his house in Beverly Hills. He used to be 91.

Shapiro used to be co-founder and spouse in Shapiro/West Associates, the filthy rich ability leadership banner that helped bring together the mammoth NBC hit “Seinfeld” and a large number of tasks for Andy Kaufman. More just lately, Shapiro served as government manufacturer of the Crackle/Netflix collection “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” hosted by means of Seinfeld.

A vivacious character, Shapiro used to be identified for his lengthy relationships with purchasers and for his infectious enthusiasm for the industry of leisure. “Shapiro’s love of laughter and reverence for those who inspire it helped him build a career in comedy as an unabashed supporter of comic performers and comedy writers,” Shapiro’s circle of relatives said.

Danny De Vito, who co-starred with Andy Kaufman within the influential 1978-1983 sitcom “Taxi,” recalled Shapiro’s presence throughout the manufacturing of the Paramount Television collection that aired on ABC and NBC. De Vito would later play Shapiro within the 1999 Kaufman biopic “Man On the Moon,” starring Jim Carrey.

“George was one of the sweetest guys on the planet. We got to see that smiling face every Friday night during the ‘Taxi’ days. He never missed a show,” De Vito stated in a remark. “Peace brother.”

Shapiro’s function as a pressure within the comedy industry for greater than a half-century used to be saluted in a remark from the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, N.Y., for which he used to be a founding advisory board member. “He believed deeply in our mission to celebrate and preserve comedy’s heritage,” stated Journey Gunderson, government director of the middle.

Raised within the Bronx, Shapiro had a decades-long partnership with West, who used to be a adolescence good friend. Shapiro used to be associated with Reiner by means of marriage, as a nephew to Reiner’s spouse, Estelle Reiner. Shapiro’s early life have been chronicled in 2019 within the HBO documentary “The Bronx, USA.”

As a young person, Shapiro spent his summers operating as a lifeguard on the famed Tamiment Resort within the Poconos the place he used to be uncovered to the internal workings of showbiz and performers similar to Dick Shawn, Pat Carroll and Carol Burnett in addition to singer Barbara Cook. He additionally met ability brokers which piqued his pastime in transferring right into a behind-the-scenes function.

After graduating from NYU and serving a hitch within the Army, Carl Reiner in the end helped Shapiro get a role within the mailroom of his ability company, the mighty William Morris Agency. It wasn’t lengthy earlier than the full of life younger guy used to be promoted to junior agent. He started packaging TV collection and testing the cream of the comedy crop in mid-Sixties New York, together with Lenny Bruce, Mike Nichols and Elaine May and Phyllis Diller. He additionally introduced his previous good friend West into the ability company industry.

As the business developed, Shapiro learned he want to transfer to the Morris place of business at the West Coast to stay his finger at the pulse of ability. After relocating, he helped bring together such collection as “Gomer Pyle, USMC,” “That Girl” and “The Steve Allen Show.”

By 1973, throughout any other duration of upheaval for the leisure business, Shapiro and West headed off on their very own as managers. The pair’s eye for ability ensured the corporate could be a few of the maximum filthy rich of management-production corporations. West died in December 2015 on the age of 84.

For Kaufman, Shapiro served as government manufacturer for the Showtime particular “Andy Kaufman at Carnegie Hall” and ABC’s mythical “The Andy Kaufman Special.” Other specials he assembled integrated Elayne Boosler’s “Broadway Baby” for Showtime,” Seinfeld’s “Stand-Up Confidential” for HBO and the animated “The 2000 Year Old Man,” with Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner reprising their cherished pal act, for HBO.

Shapiro used to be a motive force at the back of “Man On the Moon,” the tale of the afflicted comedy genius who died tragically younger in 1984 at age 35. In addition to serving as a key personality within the Milos Forman-directed movie, Shapiro additionally had a small function within the film himself.

Shapiro additionally government produced the 2001 documentary “Comedian,” chronicling Jerry Seinfeld’s go back to standup after the top of “Seinfeld.” Other Shapiro movie credit come with 1985’s “Summer Rental,” starring John Candy and Rip Torn; and 1987’s “Summer School,” starring Mark Harmon and Kirstie Alley.

Shapiro used to be lengthy a champion of tasks about his local borough. He produced the 2003 documentary “The Bronx Boys,” about Shapiro and West’s cohort of buddies from their fundamental faculty days as P.S. 80. That used to be adopted 10 years later by means of “The Bronx Boys Still Playing at 80” for PBS. In 2017, Shapiro, Reiner, Brooks and others have been featured within the HBO documentary about aged comedians “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast.”

In 2020, after Carl Reiner died on the age of 98, Shapiro lovingly gave Variety a glimpse into how Reiner spent his closing day, revealing that the comedy legend handed peacefully with a Pink’s scorching canine in his stomach. “He went out within three minutes,” Shapiro advised Variety. “He didn’t suffer. Everybody wants to go that way.”

Shapiro is survived by means of Melody Shapiro, his lifelong good friend and mom of 3 youngsters: son Danny Shapiro, daughters Carrie Shapiro Fuentes and Stefanie Shapiro. He may be survived by means of a brother, Don Shapiro, and 5 grandchildren: Adam Shapiro, Nathan Fuentes, Audrey Fuentes, Skylar Shapiro and Alana Shapiro.

A memorial carrier for Shapiro will probably be held at a later date. The circle of relatives requests that donations be made to the Festivus Fund throughout the California Community Foundation.





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