Influential CAA Agent Martin Baum Passes On

Joining the agency a year after it started in 1976, he was instrumental in building the company’s motion-picture department

Martin Baum, an key player in the growth of the Creative Artists Agency into a leading talent-representation force in Hollywood, has died at the age of 86, an agency executive told TheWrap.

No cause of death was disclosed. Information regarding memorial services is pending (please check back to this story for an update).

Baum joined CAA just a year after it started, in 1976, merging his Martin Baum Agency with the firm founded by Michael Ovitz, Ron Meyer, Michael Rosenfeld Sr., Rowland Perkins and Hill Haber.

Baum, who maintained daily appearances into CAA headquarters up until his passing, was instrumental in the development of the company's powerful motion-picture department. 

Baum's career as an agent followed a successful stint as president of ABC Picture's motion picture department from 1968-1971, during which time he executive-produced the Oscar-nominated "Cabaret."

As an agent, his stellar client roster included Sidney Poitier, Richard Attenborough, Jon Voight, Blake Edwards, Julie Andrews, John Cassevetes, Gena Rowlands, Red Buttons, Gene Wilder, Bette Davis, Rock Hudson, Ellen Burstyn, Bo Derek, Carroll O'Conner, Richard Harris, Joanne Woodward, Harry Belafonte, Dyan Cannon, Rod Steiger and Peter Sellers.

"The loss of Marty Baum deeply saddens all of us at CAA," an agency statement read. "We send our most heartfelt condolences to his loving family. To those of us in his CAA family, Marty was a hero. he was not only a brilliant agency, but a generous mentor to so many. We are grateful to have known Marty as a dear friend and colleague and will always be indebted to him for his inspiration and wisdom."