Bill Treusch, a longtime New York talent manager who once served as personal assistant to Montgomery Clift and went on help guide the careers of Sissy Spacek, Christopher Walken, Tom Hulce, Diane Keaton, Eric Roberts, Tom Berenger and numerous others, died Tuesday in New York City following a lengthy illness. He was 80.
Following his stint as Clift’s personal assistant, Treusch became a theatrical talent agent with Dudley Field Malone. He joined the casting office of Marion Dougherty where he worked with casting directors Juliet Taylor, Wallis Nicita, and Gretchen Rennell.
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Although Dougherty believed Treusch was unsuited to casting, she recognized his eye for talent. Settled into Dougherty’s basement office, Treusch flourished and eventually founded his own one-man operation that evolved into Bill Treusch Management, a leading management company.
Working with film, television and stage performers over a career that spanned more than five decades, Treusch was instrumental in discovering and shepherding the careers of Spacek, Walken, Hulce, Keaton, Roberts, Berenger, Viggo Mortenson, Carol Kane and Sandy Dennis, Regina Baff, Graham Beckel, Brad Beyer, Matthew Bomer, Kevin Conway, Tim Guinee, Shawn Hatosy, June Havoc, John Heard, Matthew Lillard, Rudolf Martin, Melanie Mayron, Holt McCallany, Stephen McHattie, Oliver Platt, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Luke Reilly, Antonia Rey, Kathryn Walker, Constance Forslund and others.
“He gave me a career,” said actor Richard Jenkins in a statement to Deadline. Actor Peter Weller called Treusch a “manager and dear friend for half a century; passionate, savvy, inspiring and loyal to all his talent in both theatre and film”.
“I owe my entire career to Bill Treusch,” said Oscar and Emmy winner Melisso Leo. “Thank you Bill, rest in peace.”
Treusch “built a reputation for impeccable taste,” said Mary Erickson of Mary Erickson Management.”His impact on the acting community is immeasurable.” In particular, Treusch was a major influence in the New York film and theater scene of the 1970s and ’80s.
Treusch was also known as a mentor to young casting directors, agents, managers and writers and agents including Joe Mantello and Peter Hedges.
He is survived by his sister and brother-in-law Maureen and John Cunningham; nieces and nephews Tara, Colin and Meghan Cunningham and Ken Treusch, talent manager and partner of Bleecker Street Entertainment and Shannon Treusch, Partner, Falco Ink.; and other extended family. Donations may be made in Treusch’s name to The Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund).
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