Edgar Fleisher Gross, a film producer and entertainment lawyer whose clients included Richard Gere, Gene Hackman and Angelica Huston among others, died Sunday. He was 85.
Gross was born in Philadelphia, PA and moved to California with his family at age 16, settling in Beverly Hills. After graduating Beverly Hills High School, he went on to attend UC Berkeley and UCLA, graduating UCLA in 1953, then went on to Harvard Law School, graduating in the class of 1956.
He began his legal career in California, becoming a partner at Winthrop, Erlich and Gross, and ultimately working for I.H. Prinzmettle where he began working with Alfred Hitchcock and Gary Cooper. Eventually he formed a law firm with his former Harvard Law classmate, brother-in-law Bob Eisenstein. They later added “business management” to their legal services, forming International Business Management, one of the pre-eminent firms in the entertainment industry.
Over a career that spanned more than five decades, Gross represented music greats such as Joe Cocker, The Commodores, Bill Withers, Kansas and ELO, and writer-directors including Billy Friedkin, John Boorman, Chris McQuarrie, Nick Meyer and Paul Schrader. He also repped major actors in TV and film including Gere, Huston, Hackman, Billy Peterson and Linda Evans to name a few. Hackman actually was inspired by Gross’ sense of style and look for his character portrayal of Harry Zimm in the film Get Shorty.
Gross also was a producer with credits including features Excaliber and Hope And Glory, for which he won a Golden Globe. He retired in 2010.
Gross is survived by his wife of 62 years, Marcellina; daughter Sheryl; sons Nicholas and Matthew; and seven grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that Gross be remembered with donations to SHARE, supporting The Exceptional Children’s Foundation.