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Fields was super-agent.

Freddie Fields, the powerful and charming talent manager and agent who, along with David Begelman, founded the powerful Creative Management Associates and later became a studio exec and producer, died Dec. 11 of lung cancer in Beverly Hills. He was 84.

Fields was known for his aggressive dealmaking, including negotiating percentages of films' profits for the stars he represented.

While Fields was married to actress Polly Bergen, his Beverly Hills house was at the center of the town's social scene, with frequent star-studded parties.

"He had a tremendous instinct for making deals work on both sides. He had close relationships with talent, and he was able to make things happen. He also had an eye for recruiting top agents," said Jeff Berg, president of International Creative Management, who began working for Fields in 1969.

The roster of clients at CMA, the precursor to ICM, was a virtual who's who in entertainment of its era. Fields, Begelman and their other agents (who at various times included Berg, Sue Mengers, Mike Medavoy and Sam Cohn) handled the careers of talent including Judy Garland, Robert Redford, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Burr Bacharach and Neil Young.

In a rarity at the time, Fields' First Artists production company owned the films it produced. Using the deal savvy he learned at MCA, Fields engineered the creation of First Artists with several prominent clients including Barbra Streisand, Steve McQueen, Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman and Dustin Hoffman.

About 18 films were produced under the banner, including "A Star Is Born," "The Getaway" and "Uptown Saturday Night."

Born in Ferndale, N.Y., Fields was the son of a Catskills resort owner. He joined the Abbe Greshler agency in 1943; there he worked with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. He was wooed away by MCA in 1946, bringing Lewis and Martin with him, and rose through the ranks to become head of its TV department. He packaged such radio talents as Phil Silvers, George Burns and Gracie Allen and Jackie Gleason for television.

When MCA divested itself of the agency business, he left to form his own management firm repping such clients as Garland, Henry Fonda and Newman. He started Creative Management Associates in 1962 with Begelman, taking his management clients with him and adding many of the industry's emerging talents. Over the 12 year's of the agency's existence, they included thesps Al Pacino, Woody Allen, Liza Minnelli and Natalie Wood and young directors like Lucas, Arthur Penn, Mel Brooks, Francis Ford Coppola and Spielberg.

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In 1974 he and Begelman sold CMA to Marvin Josephson's International Famous Agency. The merger created the company that is now ICM, but soon thereafter, Fields left his job as president of the agency for an indie production deal at Paramount Pictures.

Fields' producing efforts included Jonathan Demme's "Citizens Band," the controversial "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" and Paul Schrader's "American Gigolo" in 1979. In the early '80s Fields was recruited by Begelman, then running MGM/UA, for the top production slot at MGM and then for both MGM and UA. By 1983 he had risen to president and chief operating officer of the MGM Film Co. under Frank Yablans.

His later productions included "Crimes of the Heart" and "Glory," which won three Oscars. By the end of the 1980s, Fields moved to television, where he was executive producer of "Naked Hollywood" and "The Montel Williams Show."

Survivors include his wife of 26 years, Corinna; two daughters and a son; three grandchildren; four stepchildren and one step-grandchild.
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Title Annotation:Obituaries; Freddie Fields
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 17, 2007
Words:583
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