Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent whose license plate read “ICM JG,” died on Thursday at his home in Los Angeles at age 88, the agency announced.
During his seven-decade career, Gilardi represented Hollywood legends such as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Shirley MacLaine and Charlton Heston. Longstanding clients who have remained with him until the end include Ann-Margret, Joe Mantegna, Walter Hill, Frankie Avalon and Jaclyn Smith, among many others.
He was also married to actress and former Mouseketeer Annette Funicello from 1965 to 1981; the couple had three children together.
The Chicago native got his start in talent representation while serving in the U.S. Army, where he was placed in charge of bringing entertainment to the soldiers stationed at Fort Knox. In October 1954, following his completion of service, he began working as an agent with General Artists Corporation, which later joined Creative Management Associates, which merged with International Famous Agency in 1975 to form International Creative Management — the predecessor to ICM Partners.
He soon lined up an impressive roster of clients who became giant names in Hollywood. In 2016, Gilardi received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence as a Talent Agent at the Heller Awards in recognition of his unending service to the entertainment business and the community he helped foster.
A lifelong baseball fan, Gilardi initiated the Hollywood Stars charity baseball game, which featured some of the biggest names in show business playing on the field at Dodger Stadium prior to an actual Dodgers game.
In the 1960s, he also served as commissioner of the Encino Little League Baseball 10-team league and raised $200,000 in charitable donations. In 1985, the main field at the Encino Little League complex was named Gilardi Field. In addition, he also raised funds for cancer research, the Motion Picture Relief Fund, City of Hope, the Leukemia Foundation, the Italian government and the Concern Foundation.
He is survived by his daughter, Gina, and his sons Jackie and Jason and his four grandchildren Jack III, Luca, Nico and Jordan.