EXCLUSIVE: Nicole David, a stalwart talent agent for Triad and WMA, is leaving WME. She is not retiring, but hasn’t yet figured out if she will resurface as an agent or a manager, or a producer for that matter. David has been an important figure for women in the industry, rising to prominence at a time when there weren’t that many in top jobs. David and Arnold Rifkin formed Rifkin/David in 1982, and a decade later sold that agency for upwards of $25 million to WMA. She has been at that agency ever since, continuing after its merger with Endeavor. In that time, she helped build the movie careers of talent that included the late Patrick Swayze and Whitney Houston, and her current list includes: Alicia Keys, Elijah Wood, Emma Thompson, Jaden Smith, Julia Andrews, Linda Hunt, Melanie Griffith, Rihanna and Willow Smith.
David started her career in acting and is still a member of The Actors Studio. She also voiced the role of the bespectacled sleuth Velma in the animated Hanna-Barbera series Scooby-Doo. She has also helped launch a lot of careers, giving early jobs to an impressive list of women that includes Stacey Snider, Hylda Queally, Michelle Bohan, Carla Hacken, Tracey Jacobs and Ilene Feldman, to name a few.
David today told the WME staff that she would be leaving, and she will take a nice vacation before she decides on the next career adventure. She has never been much for press or showing off in general, but in that meeting she did give herself some credit, acknowledging she had “done okay for a so-so actress with a high school education.”
For the record, she gave me this statement: “In my 3½ years at William Morris Endeavor, it has been extraordinary to be a part of what Ari, Patrick, and the entire WME family have built. I’m grateful for the experience and I’m very proud of our accomplishments. I look forward to creating new projects and continuing to give this industry that I love the best I have to offer.”