Jack L. Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent whose client roster over the years included Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Shirley MacLaine, and Charlton Heston, died this morning at age 88.
His death was announced by ICM Partners. No cause of death was given, but the company notes that Gilardi passed away peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by family.
Gilardi would have celebrated his 65th anniversary at the company next month. Longstanding clients who remained with Gilardi until the end include Ann-Margret, Joe Mantegna, Walter Hill, Frankie Avalon, and Jaclyn Smith, among others.
Among his early clients was former Mouseketeer and star of American-International’s “Beach Party” film franchise Annette Funicello, who he would marry in 1965. The couple had three children before divorcing in 1983. (Funicello died at 70 in 2013 of complications due to multiple sclerosis).
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Born on October 5th, 1930 in Chicago, Illinois, Gilardi would go on to join the US Army and, upon completion of his service in October 1954, was offered jobs from three different talent agencies. He chose to begin his career as an agent with General Artists Corporation, which later joined Creative Management Associates, who merged with International Famous Agency in 1975 to form International Creative Management (ICM) – the predecessor to ICM Partners.
In a memo to agency staff today, ICM Partners’ Chris Silbermann and Rick Levy wrote, “We are all indebted to Jack for setting a standard of excellence as an agent, a father, a mentor and a friend. Importantly, he did this with compassion, humanity and a great sense of humor. To know Jack was to know what it felt like to have that wonderful uncle warmly welcome you to family dinner over the holidays. Simply, he cared deeply about this company and truly treated it, and us, like family. Jack will be greatly missed.”
In an obituary provided by ICM, Gilardi was described as “a selfless colleague, devoted friend, and tireless agent. His consistency and passion for his clients and their careers, as well as those of his friends and colleagues, is evident in the fact that he spent his entire storied career at a single company – rare in any day, but particularly today.”
In the 1960s, Gilardi served as Commissioner of Encino Little League Baseball, and in 1985, the main field at the Encino Little League complex was named Gilardi Field. A mounted sign read, “Gilardi Field–in honor of Jack Gilardi–for his dedication to Encino baseball.”
Gilardi also raised funds for cancer research, the Motion Picture Relief Fund, City of Hope, the Leukemia Foundation, the Italian Government, and the Concern Foundation.
In 2016, Gilardi received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence as a Talent Agent at the Heller Awards in recognition of his unending service to the entertainment business and the community he helped foster.
Gilardi is survived by a daughter, Gina; sons Jackie and Jason; and four grandchildren. A private funeral will be held for family, and ICM Partners will host a memorial celebration, with details forthcoming.