Chairman of William Morris Agency Dies at 74
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Morris Stoller, chairman and chief operating officer of the William Morris Agency, the nation’s largest handler of talent and celebrities, died Monday of cancer at age 74.
Stoller, considered a television expert, had helped school such talent as Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Bill Cosby and former President Gerald R. Ford in financial aspects of the industry.
The entertainment executive, who died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, joined the agency’s New York office in 1937 after receiving a law degree from Brooklyn Law School. He also was a certified public accountant.
He moved to Morris’ Beverly Hills office in 1947 as administrative head, advancing to vice president and executive vice president and treasurer.
During Stoller’s years, the agency grew from a staff of 60 to more than 500.
In December 1980, Stoller became chairman of the agency founded in 1898 by William Morris, a German immigrant who once operated a vaudeville theaters. The management changes triggered by Stoller’s chairmanship marked the first major turnover at the agency in 25 years.
Stoller was credited in the 1950s with forming Morris’ international division, which now has offices in London, Rome and Munich.
The agency deals with actors, film, personal performances, recordings, concerts, television and home video.
Stoller’s funeral will be held noon Wednesday at Hillside Memorial Park in West Los Angeles. Survivors include his wife, Gertrude, and two daughters, Barbara Jaffa and Debra Stoller.