Bill Treusch, the New York-based talent manager who ushered the careers of stars like Sissy Spacek, Diane Keaton, Christopher Walken, Melissa Leo and Viggo Mortenson died on Tuesday following a long illness, his niece Shannon Treusch confirmed. He was 80.
The founder of Bill Treusch Management (formerly Bill Treusch & Associates) got his start as an assistant to the Oscar-nominated actor Montgomery Clift and then as a theatrical talent agent with Dudley Field Malone. He would find his true calling while assisting casting director Marion Dougherty, who recognized his ability to spot talent. Treusch launched his five-decade career in talent management from a basement in Dougherty’s office, as told in the 2012 documentary “Casting By.”
Treusch’s company, which began as a one-man operation, went on to shepherd many stars throughout their careers. In addition to those aforementioned, his roster included Richard Jenkins, Tom Hulce, Eric Roberts, Tom Berenger, Peter Weller, Carol Kane, Sandy Dennis, Regina Baff, Graham Beckel, Brad Beyer, Matthew Bomer, Kevin Conway, Tim Guinee, Shawn Hatosy, June Havoc, John Heard, Matthew Lillard, Rudolf Martin, Melanie Mayron, Holt McCallany, Stephen McHattie, Oliver Platt, Sendhil Ramamurthy, Luke Reilly, Antonia Rey and Kathryn Walker, among many others.
He also mentored up-and-coming writers and directors such as Joe Mantello and Peter Hedges, as well as a generation of producers, casting directors, agents and managers.
Born on March 16, 1942, Treusch was a lifelong New Yorker who notably influenced the city’s film and theater scene in the 1970s and ’80s. He is survived by his sister and brother-in-law Maureen and John Cunningham, and his nieces and nephews Tara, Colin and Meghan Cunningham; talent manager and Bleecker Street Entertainment partner Ken Treusch; and Shannon Treusch, partner and founder of Falco Ink, along with several great nephews and nieces.
Donations may be made in Bill Treusch’s name to The Entertainment Community Fund (formerly The Actors Fund).