Flo Allen, a longtime talent agent who repped Rock Hudson, Julie Andrews, Milton Berle and others and was Denzel Washington’s manager early in his career, has died. She was 88.
Allen, who died August 21 of heart failure in Monterey, CA, worked in the mostly male world of talent reps during the 1970s and ’80s. A native New Yorker who moved to LA during childhood, she started her career as a as a private secretary to legendary producer David O. Selznick then moved to an office job at the Louis Shurr Agency before becoming the lone female agent at boutique agency Chasin-Park-Citron, where she spent a decade.
Allen would spend the next 10 years at the pre-merger William Morris Agency and was an SVP in its film and TV departments.
While serving as Hudson’s agent, Allen secured what is believed to be the industry’s first million-dollar-an-episode TV deal when he starred in NBC’s McMillian and Wife in the 1970s. During her career, Allen repped such other big names as George Peppard, Richard Chamberlain and The Exorcist writer-producer William Peter Blatty.
She later unretired to manage Washington early in his career, seeing him through his first Oscar-winning turn in Glory (1989) and through 1992’s Malcolm X, for which he received his first Academy Award nom for Best Actor.
THR first reported her death today, citing Allen’s friend and estate trustee Heidi Kleinmaus.