No, ICM didn’t send him off with a lifetime supply of paper to eat. Instead, as Sam Cohn’s office was being cleared out at ICM-NY, this memo just came in:
From: Corporate Communications
Sent: Tuesday, February 03, 2009 12:26 PM
To: #All ICM
Cc: Berg, Jeff; Silbermann, Chris
Subject: Sam Cohn
Our dear friend and respected colleague, Sam Cohn, the legendary talent agent in our New York office, is retiring from ICM.
Recognized throughout his long career as one of the most savvy agents and brilliant negotiators in the business, Sam, during his years at ICM, represented esteemed actors, directors, writers, playwrights, and composers. His clients included Woody Allen, Robert Altman, Marshall Brickman, E.L. Doctorow, Nora Ephron, Bob Fosse, Jackie Gleason, John Guare, Kander & Ebb, Peter Maas, Arthur Miller, Paul Newman, Mike Nichols, Arthur Penn, Vanessa Redgrave, Susan Sarandon, Peter Stone, Meryl Streep, Steve Tesich, Lily Tomlin, Kathleen Turner, Sigourney Weaver and Dianne Wiest, among many others. Sam’s work had a broad reach. In a lengthy 1982 profile, The New Yorker observed just one of his years: “In 1981, ten feature films and nine Broadway or Off Broadway plays opened that were written, directed or produced by one of his clients or in which a Cohn client had a major acting role.”
Often referred to as “the most difficult man in the business to get on the phone,” Sam’s irreverent personality and singular sense of style became subject matter for several clients, as his colorful persona was portrayed on screen.
After graduating from Princeton University and Yale Law School, Sam began his career in the business affairs department of CBS. He later became a partner at the law firm Marshall, Bratter, Greene, Allison & Tucker. In 1963, Sam joined General Artists Corporation, which merged with Creative Management Associates, a predecessor to ICM. Co-founding ICM in 1975, Sam, a dedicated New Yorker, chose to remain on the east coast and headed the agency’s New York office for almost 25 years. ICM’s success is, in no small part, attributable to Sam’s great integrity, keen business acumen and fierce loyalty to his clients and the agency.
Sam has chosen this time to retire from ICM. As he makes this transition, please join us in wishing him well and thanking him for his enormous contributions to ICM and to the entertainment business.
Jeffrey Berg Chris Silbermann