“Well, we’re doing an article on Hollywood’s talent agents and we think it might be appropriate if we had some photos of the executives at your agency. . . .”

That’s how we began our quest for the photos you see on these pages.

An innocent request, you say?

Hardly. Nothing in the film business is ever so simple.

The request at agency after agency--well most agencies--was met with silence or “Sorry, no comment.”

We called private photographers. But they said the photos weren’t theirs to give out. We called paparazzi, but they only take photos of celebs. It seems that agents, unlike their stars, don’t seek the spotlight. In fact, they shun it. It adds to the mystique. For instance, we could not find photos on file of probably the most famous living agent, Sam Cohn.


So how did we get Sam Cohn?

We happened to come across a very dated photo of the partners at one agency in town in which hair styles were, shall we say, distinctly 1970s and neckties were as wide as the Hollywood Freeway. It was the only photo we could find. So we sent a photocopy of it to the agency.

No more than a few hours passed after that letter was delivered when we received a phone call from the silent agency. It asked, “How can we help you?”

It was only a matter of alerting rival agencies that we planned to publish their rivals’ photos. Then we got more cooperation than ever.

And the phantom Sam Cohn? He posed for our photographer.