Longtime talent agent Monty Silver died early this morning of bladder cancer in Springs, East Hampton, NY. He was 83.
Born in Brooklyn in 1933, Silver started the Monty Silver Agency in New York in the 1950s and kept working until only a few years ago. During the 1990s, he took on partners Robbie Kass and Donna Massetti to open a Los Angeles office and launch SMS Talent.
Silver worked with Jon Voight when he got his Equity card and with Fyvush Finkel when he won an Emmy for Picket Fences in 1994. Silver was the first agent for Roy Scheider, Frank Langella, Peter Boyle, Louis Gossett Jr., Kelsey Grammer and Laurence Fishburne, Donna Murphy and Bonnie Bedelia, and he discovered Emmy winner Željko Ivanek as a last-minute understudy at Williamstown. During his career, Silver also worked with Silvia Sydney, Eva Marie Saint and Celeste Holm and helped to form the National Association of Talent Representatives.
Silver eventually retired from SMS Talent, which kept its name with new owner-partners Gregg Mehlman, Ian Roumain and Silver’s nephew, talent agent Charles Silver.
Even after his retirement, Silver, known for his notoriously sharp sense of humor, remained close with a number of his clients. He recalled with joy seeing The Humans on Broadway recently, followed by dinner with the show’s Reed Birney and Jayne Houdyshell. A perfect evening.