Talent agent, movie producer, and television producer Bernie Brillstein passed yesterday at the age of 77. The cause was pulmonary disease.
Brillstein was born April 26, 1931 in New York, New York. He graduated from New York University and then served in the military. He began at the William Morris Agency in the mail room in 1956. Brillstein went up the ladder quickly, becoming a talent agent and later the agency's manager-producer of television programming. In 1964, although he still worked for William Morris, he joined Management III to continue being a talent agent. Throughout his career as an agent he managed such names as John Belushi and Jim Henson.
In 1973 Brillstein became a television producer. He was executive producer on the short lived The Burns and Schreiber Comedy Hour and the following year the special The Muppets Valentine Show. He produced such shows as Buffalo Bill, Alf, It's Gary Shandling's Show, and NewsRadio. Starting with Up the Academy in 1980, Brillstein also produced movies. He produced movies including The Blues Brothers, Ghost Busters, Dragnet, and Happy Gilmore.