Former Hollywood super-agent Mengers dies

October 19, 2011 - 10:26 AM

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sue Mengers, a former Hollywood super-agent whose clients included Barbra Streisand, Cher, Michael Caine and Joan Collins, has died. Mengers claimed to be 78, though some sources listed her age as 81.

Mengers died Saturday at her Beverly Hills home in the company of friends that included actress Ali MacGraw, Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter reported on the magazine's Web site Sunday. Carter, who had known Mengers for almost 20 years, wrote that her death followed a series of small strokes.

"I loved Sue Mengers unequivocally and her passing marks the end of a most glorious era," MacGraw said. "There will never be another Sue Mengers."

A child of German immigrants who came to the United States amid the Holocaust, Mengers started as a receptionist with MCA talent agency in the 1950s and later was a secretary at the William Morris Agency. Mengers became an agent in 1967 for Creative Management Agency, which later merged with International Famous Agency to become International Creative Management.

At her peak in the early 1970s, Mengers was one of Hollywood's most-powerful agents, with a client list that also included Gene Hackman, Faye Dunaway, Bob Fosse, Peter Bogdanovich, Ryan O'Neal, Candice Bergen and Cybill Shepherd.

Mengers reportedly was the basis for a character played by Dyan Cannon in the 1973 murder romp "The Last of Sheila," co-written by Anthony Perkins, another of her clients.

Mengers left ICM in 1986 and returned briefly to William Morris two years later before permanently retiring. She became one of Hollywood's most-beloved hostesses after that, with parades of stars visiting her home for dinner parties, according to Carter.

"Sue would sit at one end of the seating area, with two large facing sofas flanking her, and a chair at the other end," Carter wrote. "She held court, certainly. But she always brought the best out in her guests. At Sue's everyone was funnier, and quicker, and smarter than they were anywhere else. And as a result, everyone came to Sue's."

Mengers was married to Belgian director Jean-Claude Tramont from 1973 until his death in 1996.