Sunday, July 13, 2008

In Memoriam: Hal Gefsky

I first met Hal Gefsky shortly after I moved to Los Angeles. A retired agent, he surrounded himself with friends, most of whom still worked in the industry. He was generous in many ways, including with his home, which he opened up to a myriad of guests, both long term and short. Actors, producers, singers, and musicians from New York often stayed with Hal if they were in L.A. for work, including his cousin, Michael Uslan (executive producer of Batman Begins), singer Marni Nixon, and actors Steve Eastin and Joe Grifasi to name only a few of those whom I was lucky enough to meet. When I needed to move out of my old guest house, Hal was kind enough to let me stay in one of the large guest rooms for just over a year.

Hal Gefsky was an icon in the entertainment community, respected and loved by friends and family alike. He will be greatly missed.

Harold Gefsky, theatrical agent, dies

Worked with APA for more than 25 years

By Mike Barnes

July 1, 2008, 03:01 PM ET

Harold "Hal" Gefsky, a veteran theatrical agent who worked at APA for more than 25 years, died June 25 in Los Angeles after a long illness. He was 90.

Gefsky, a former vp at APA, represented such clients as actors Dyan Cannon, Linda Evans, Sharon Tate, Veronica Hamel, Troy Donahue, Gary Merrill, Simon Oakland, Richard Beymer, Robert Clary and Ed Nelson.

Before APA, Gefsky worked for the Mitchell Gertz Agency and had his own theatrical agency. In 1983, he was honored by the Association of Talent Agents with its career achievement award.

"Hal Gefsky will be remembered as a great agent and a true gentleman," APA president and chairman Jim Gosnell said. "It was an honor to have had the opportunity to work with him, and on behalf of the APA family, we extend our deepest condolences to his friends and family."

The native of Youngstown, Ohio, served on the ATA board of directors and was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Entertainer Mort Sahl once described Gefsky as "a person with the most integrity of anyone I've ever met."

During World War II, Gefsky was a major in the U.S. Army and served on Gen. Dwight Eisenhower's staff in Europe.


Paul said...

Wow! Hal was cool guy. I stayed at his home one week. His home was Anne Baxter's. One of his clients was also Cary Grant. Cary gave me tickets to watch LA Dodgers while I was at Hal's.

I did not know about his death til I googled for his address.

But I am glad I got to know him.

Thanks for the info!

Ashley Wilkes said...

I knew Hal for years ... met him through Ronald "Wink" Howard, Leslie Howard's son. A truer gentleman never walked this earth. I was living in Hawaii when Hal passed away, and only recently spied this Memoriam online.

You will be missed, Hal.

Leslie Howard Gargan

My Sinatra said...

An agent who was a gentlemen..what a marvelous combination that was- in one delightful human being. Hal was my wifes agent Suzanne Astor in the late 1970's.We had just moved to LA with a musical I had co-written ,which Suzanne starred in called What's A nice Country Like You Doing In A State and he happened by to see it and changed our lives by casting her in a CBS pilot..we could now eat and feel like we had a protector who cared..I miss talking with him and hearing his wry satirical take on his own business