Literary Agency Owner Caren Bohrman Passes Away After Long Battle with Cancer

The close-knit LA literary agency community is in mourning today following the death over the weekend of Caren Bohrman. She was 56.

As owner of The Bohrman Agency, she brokered screenwriter deals for such major Hollywood films as the remake of The Fugitive. Her brother, David, is president of Current TV, while their father Stan was an award-winning SoCal TV newsman.

In an interview with scriptologist.com, she offered a wonderful explanation of how she came to own her boutique agency:

“I got fired from my first job as an agent after four years because they said, ‘You’re too honest. So, we can’t trust you anymore.’ [This] taught me about the lack of integrity in Hollywood. I’m very straightforward and honest. So I decided I was going to prove to these people that you can be honest and straightforward and still be very successful.”

“I went on to open four or five different literary departments at talent agencies that did not have literary departments. They were all wonderful departments where we were putting together series and feature films, and representing novelists like Irving Wallace. Then I decided it was time to open up my own agency.”

Bohrman’s sister Cathy has provided FishbowlLA with the following tribute. It speaks volumes about the fruits of Bohrman’s honest Hollywood approach. RIP:

Caren Bohrman, a leading Hollywood literary agent, died following a long illness Sunday. A native Angeleno, Bohrman, 56, had been under the care of her sister, Catherine, in the Oakland area since mid August.

Over nearly three decades at the forefront of literary representation and management, Bohrman had been directly involved in nearly a 200 screenplays and pilots, with projects ranging from a Michael Jackson film treatment – unfinished before his death – to The Fugitive. During a period of enormous transition – including a handful of wrenching writers’ strike and the advent of the digital revolution – Bohrman remained resolutely independent. She was a last-of-a-breed agent who eschewed “omnibus” projects – with actors and studios attached to a script as a condition of advancement – in favor of a boutique approach to script development, lavishing attention on language, plot, structure, and – in particular – the writer.

Bohrman represented dozens of newcomers, shepherding careers not only over years but decades. Under her tutelage, their efforts yielded both an eclectic and distinguished body of work, characterized most notably by an independence of voice. Produced films included The Fugitive, Warlock, Crazy/Beautiful, Buckaroo Banzai, The United States of Leland and Employee of the Month. She also secured the U.S. theatrical release of the Salvador Carrasco-directed and Plácido Domingo-produced, The Other Conquest, about neo-colonialism from an Aztec point of view and described by Cinescene as “one of the more astonishing feature film debuts in recent memory.”

More recently, she had worked on Admissions with Andy Garcia, Vera Farmiga and Tom Skerritt, on the Maria Bellow/Michael Sheen vehicle, Beautiful Boy, and Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum‘s The Vow. Before her death, she had over a dozen projects in various stages of development.

Bohrman also worked with writer-director Bryan Michael Stoller on a big-screen adaptation of Jennings Michael Burch‘s book They Cage the Animals, which was to be Michael Jackson‘s directorial debut.

Bohrman had originally intended to become a journalist, in the model of her own father, Stan Bohrman, the investigative reporter and anchor for KABC-TV in Los Angeles, KPIX-TV in San Francisco and KYW-TV in Philadelphia throughout the ’70s and ’80s. But after being cencored by the federal government, she shifted gears by the mid ’80s had decided to enter representation, entering the business as a receptionist and – within six months – was representing some 45 leading television and feature writers and directors at various agencies while also establishing literary departments at each. She established her own firm, the Bohrman Agency, in 1994.