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HOME > Biographical > 100 New Yorkers of the 1970s > EASTSIDER MILTON GOLDMAN
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Broadway's super agent


"Pardon me — just one more call to make," said Milton Goldman, pushing the buttons on his nearest desk phone. "Go on, you can ask me questions at the same time," he added, holding the receiver to his ear.

"Are you the biggest theatrical agent in the world?" I said. He returned my gaze evenly.

"Others have said it. It would be immodest for me to say it — but I probably am," said Goldman, who by this time had reached his party and was inviting the young actress on the other end to a Broadway opening that night. He chatted with her for several minutes, his Jack Bennyish voice breaking occasionally into rich laughter.

Sitting upright behind a desk-sized table covered with papers, folders, notebooks and play scripts, the ruddy-complexioned, jacketless Goldman looked far more relaxed that I had expected of a man who, in his 32 years as an agent, has handled the careers of close to 5,000 actors and actresses. Among those he has helped "discover" are Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Grace Kelly, Lee Marvin, Charlton Heston and Faye Dunaway. And though Goldman has become a celebrity in his own right, he still exudes the low-keyed charm of a friendly neighbor talking over a fence.

The appearance is no deception: he owes his success not to high-pressure tactics, but to an encyclopedic knowledge of the theatre on both sides of the Atlantic, a keen judgment of which shows are best for his clients, and a long-proven record for trustworthiness. By title, he is vice president in charge of the theatrical division of International Creative Management, which is matched in size only by the William Morris Agency. Unofficially, he serves as father confessor, rabbi, psychiatrist, and best friend to many of the top stars he represents. Attending the theatre up to five times a week, he is always on the lookout for new clients. His weekends are devoted to reading and casting new plays.

"I can't resist talent, and when I see a talented young actor or actress, I want very much to help realize their potential by opening as many doors as I can for them," he explained, gripping the arms of his chair. "I don't think of my job as work. For me, it's fun. And I never know where the one begins and the other ends. Because I'm that lucky individual whose private life and public life are one and the same thing."

Every year he takes a vacation to Europe on the Queen Elizabeth II. "I'm in Paris for a week and London for about three weeks." In slow, carefully chosen sentences, he stated............
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