Celebrated Hollywood talent manager and TV producer George Shapiro has died aged 91 after a life representing stars from Jerry Seinfeld and Carl Reiner to Andy Kaufman.
He passed from natural causes at his Beverly Hills home on Thursday (26/05.2022), but no further details have yet been released about the circumstances of his death.
Along with running his talent company, Shapiro is best known as executive producer of ‘Seinfeld’, one of the world’s most profitable and widely-shown sitcoms in history, still constantly being re-run after its original 180-episode showing from 1989 to 1998.
He also produced several stand-up specials for comic Jerry Seinfeld, 68, and appeared in the 2002 documentary ‘Comedian’ in which Seinfeld tries to return to comedy.
He is also fondly remembered for his close personal relationship with the late actor and prankster Andy Kaufman, 35 – with their friendship dramatised in the 1999 Kaufman biopic ‘Man on the Moon’, which starred Jim Carrey, 60, as the comic and Danny DeVito, 77, playing Shapiro.
The producer is survived by his wife and mother to his kids, Melody, along with his son Danny, daughters Carrie and Stefanie and his five grandchildren.
Other shows Shapiro was involved with were ‘The Steve Allen Show’, ‘That Girl’ and ‘Gomer Pyle’.
His final production was ‘The Super Bob Einstein Movie ‘, released on HBO last year.
Stars and friends have taken to social media to pay tribute.
They included veteran producer of ‘The Jeffersons’ Norman Lear, 99, who posted an image on Twitter of him smiling with Shapiro and their comic friend Mel Brooks, 95.
He added in a caption alongside the snap: “One of the dearest people I have ever known, George Shapiro, just passed. I bless our friendship and, at 99, I’m sure I’ll see him relatively soon."
One fan tweeted: “It can't be overstated what a mark this guy made in cultivating comedy. You saw the ‘Shapiro/West’ vanity card on something and you knew you were getting the real ‘goods’... ,an, we're losing them at a rate of knots lately huh?”
Another said online: “RIP to George Shapiro, who started in the mail room at William Morris and went on to manage Carl Reiner, Jerry Seinfeld and Andy Kaufmann. He was also an Executive Producer of Seinfeld.”