Larry Kartiganer, Entertainment Lawyer for Marlon Brando and Groucho Marx, Dies at 86
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Larry Kartiganer, an entertainment lawyer at Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman, died on April 11 from complications related to diverticulitis. He was 86.
Kartiganer was a partner in the firm’s Entertainment Transactions Group, representing clients in both the music business and entertainment industry, including Marlon Brando, Groucho Marx, Gregory Peck, Henry Mancini, Andy Williams and Herb Alpert.
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Born in Beacon, N.Y., on April 8, 1932, Kartiganer was a second-generation Polish immigrant on his father’s side. He grew up a dedicated student athlete and attended Harvard University, graduating in 1955. Kartiganer then went to law school at New York University, earning a Master of Laws in Taxation in 1959. He was admitted to the New York Bar Association that same year, and later to the California Bar Association in 1964.
Kartiganer began his career working for the IRS in L.A., where he tried a number of tax cases against actor Raymond Burr and MCA, which is now Universal Studios. He was then hired at Rosenfeld, Meyer & Susman and went on to represent stars such as Brando and Marx, as well as important executives like Jerry Perenchio, former chairman and CEO of Univision.
Sports were a mainstay throughout Kartiganer’s life. He was an avid basketball fan, investing in the creation of the Phoenix Suns in 1968 and religiously attending LA Lakers games. In 1973, Kartiganer helped Perenchio orchestrate the iconic tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, which later became the basis for the 2017 film “Battle of the Sexes.”
Kartiganer was incredibly dedicated to his career and clients, maintaining a “consigliere” approach in which he became the lifelong friend of those he represented, like famed jazz musician Alpert.
“Larry was a dear friend with a big smile and a big heart who happened to be a wonderful lawyer,” Alpert told Variety.
According to his stepdaughter Sara Darsky, Kartiganer went into the office nearly seven days a week up until the night before his death. She remembers him as optimistic and loyal, always acting with integrity and putting people at ease.
“In the 1970s, Andy Williams was married to Claudine Longet. Claudine was pulled over for a traffic violation, and when she asked Andy how to handle it, Andy said, ‘Call Larry Kartiganer, our lawyer,'” Darsky told Variety. “Claudine responded by saying, ‘Larry’s our lawyer? I thought he was our friend.'”
Kartiganer is survived by his wife Gail Title; his children, Adam Kartiganer, Jennifer Kartiganer and Matthew Kartiganer; his step-children, Sara Darsky, Zachary Pollack, Lisa Shipley and Jessica Goldberg; his granddaughter Sophia Kartiganer; and his step-grandchildren, Raphael, Levi, Beatrice, Sam, Hannah, Brody, Lucy and Oliver.
Contributions can be made to Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation or Up2Us to honor Kartiganer’s love for music and sports, as well as his lifelong commitment to equity and inclusion.
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