Abner J. Greshler; Agent Who Paired Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis
Abner (Abby) J. Greshler, the talent agent who teamed Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis and brought them to Hollywood, has died. He was 83.
Greshler died Dec. 30 of pneumonia at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, his wife, Violet, said Monday.
A native New Yorker, Greshler began his career in show business management at 15, handling Paul Tremaine and his “Band From Lonely Acres.” He went on to work with the bands headed by Xavier Cugat, Henry Busse and Shep Fields while studying law at Fordham University.
When he paired Martin and Lewis, Greshler produced their nightclub tours and moved with them to Hollywood in 1945, working on their Paramount films and television show.
Over the years, Greshler represented such stars as Al Jolson, Danny Kaye, Benny Goodman, Eddie Cantor, David Janssen, Jack Klugman, Vince Edwards, Marcel Marceau, Cloris Leachman, Tony Randall, Eva Marie Saint, The Monkees, Jayne Mansfield and Milton Berle.
The president of Diamond Artists talent agency for more than 35 years, Greshler also served as program consultant to NBC and was president of York Pictures Corp. and Scarus Productions.
In addition to his wife, Greshler is survived by a son, Stephen, of Palmdale; a daughter, Francine Feldman, of Los Olivos, and a granddaughter, Josette La Barbera, of Westwood.
The family has asked that any memorial donations be made to SHARE Inc., the Los Angeles Free Clinic, or the Motion Picture and Television Fund in Woodland Hills.