RIP: Jack Rollins

Titan of the comedy industry guided the careers of Woody Allen, Robin Williams and many more.

Comedy was in the cards for Jack Rollins from the very beginning. From the New York Times obituary:

Jack Rollins was born Jacob Rabinowitz in Brooklyn around March 23, 1915, a date his parents agreed on years later because no one kept track.

The legendary talent manager and producer, who opened his one-man shop in 1951 and, together with Charles H. Joffe, went on to guide the careers of Harry Belafonte, Woody Allen, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Billy Crystal, David Letterman and others, passed away Thursday. Two months ago, many of the comedians who benefited from Rollins’ guidance over the years gathered at his Upper West Side apartment for a 100th birthday celebration.

From a report in our sister publication THR by Steve Soliar:

One memorable moment for the roughly 60 attendees, [documentary filmmaker Robert B.] Weide says, was the unusual sight of [Woody] Allen, [Dick] Cavett and [Howard] Storm removing their hearing aids, then comparing and contrasting the different styles as they tried to sell Rollins — their senior by many years — on the idea that he should consider getting some of his own.

Rollins retired in 1992; partner Joffe passed away in 2008. RIP.

[Still photo from Weide’s 2012’s film Woody Allen: A Documentary courtesy: Whyaduck Productions]