George Shapiro

George Shapiro Headshot

Talent Agent • Producer

Birth Date: May 18, 1931

Death Date: May 26, 2022

Birth Place: Bronx, New York

George Shapiro is a talent manager and producer, who got his start in the mailroom of the William Morris Agency after graduating from New York University with a degree in advertising and marketing.

In short order, he worked his way up and became a talent agent. One of his first assignments was to accompany Elvis Presley during his appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show." He built his reputation packaging talent for shows like "The Steve Allen Show," "That Girl," and "Gomer Pyle," but eventually left William Morris to form his own company with Howard West.

The two formed Shapiro/West Productions, where they worked as agents and producers. Shapiro's most successful venture was the critically acclaimed hit sitcom "Seinfeld," on which he served as executive producer. His work on the show earned him eight Emmy nominations and one win.

He'd re-team with comedian Jerry Seinfeld again in 2004 for the TV documentary "The Seinfeld Story," and in 2010 for "The Marriage Ref," a program where celebrities take sides on viewers' marital disputes. Despite the popularity of these projects, Shapiro is best remembered for his work with oddball comedian Andy Kaufman.

Shapiro was Kaufman's manager for years, and produced a number of the stand-up's specials, including "Andy's Funhouse" and "Andy Kaufman Plays Carnegie Hall." In 1999, Shapiro was the executive producer on the biopic of Kaufman's life "Man on the Moon," in which Danny DeVito played Shapiro, and Shapiro made a cameo as a club owner, who fired the eccentric performer.

George Shapiro died May 26, 2022 at the age of 91.

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