Ray Kurtzman, 79, one of the first businessmen to join Creative Artists Agency in 1978, died of complications from Alzheimer’s in Beverly Hills April 23rd.
CAA founder Michael Ovitz considered Kurtzman a mentor, according to the Los Angeles Times, and lured Kurtzman away from William Morris Agency three years after Ovitz and others left the agency to form what would become its largest competitor.
Kurtzman had a lengthy background in the motion picture business, starting his career in 1954 working in the legal department at Allied Artists Pictures. He became head of business affairs at CAA and remained an important fixture at the agency for 22 years before retiring in 2001.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Motion Picture Television Fund or the Creative Artists Agency Foundation.