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Talent Agent Gene Parseghian Dies at 72

Variety logo Variety 3/16/2017 Pat Saperstein
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Longtime Gotham talent agent Gene Parseghian, who repped stars including Daniel Day Lewis, Eddie Redmayne, Olympia Dukakis, and Kathleen Turner, died March 16 of cancer at his home in Manhattan. He was 72.

Among the other actors he repped were Kit Harington, Rufus Sewell, Hugh Dancy, Essie Davis, Christopher Abbott, Miranda Richardson, Billy Connolly, and Betty Buckley.

Over the years, he also worked with Judi Dench, William Hurt, Joan Hackett, Isabella Rosellini, Emma Thompson, Mark Rylance, Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, Christopher Walken, Jul​i​e Andrews and many others. He also represented cinematographers such as Michael Ballhaus.

Born in Oneonta, N.Y., Parseghian started out as an actor. He studied in London at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and received an MFA in acting from Stanford. After acting in Manhattan in the early ’70s, he became an agent specializing in actors and in 1977 opened Parseghian Associates. In 1978 his agency merged with John Kimble to form Kimble/Parseghian which eventually became Triad Artists.

Parseghian was a founding partner of Triad and headed the New York office. Triad was acquired by William Morris in 1992, where he spent seven years as a Sr. VP. In 1999, he left William Morris and formed management and production company Parseghian Planco with Johnnie Planco.

The late actress Joan Hackett once said of Parseghian, ​”​I am the only person I know with a shy agent​.” But he was outspoken in helping forge adoption rights for LGBT families, when he and his partner become one of the early gay couples to adopt. They fought the District of Columbia to establish their legal rights and went into hiding to prevent the government from taking physical custody of their newborn daughter.

He is survived by his husband of 40 years, Michael Colberg, daughter Rachel, three brothers, and a sister. He will also remembered by his associate of over 20 years, Angela Carbonetti, his partner Planco and numerous extended family members.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date.​

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