You can’t promote elite artists once they’re gone, can you?
Oh, you certainly can. At least the estates of those artists.
WME, the William Morris Endeavor agency, has launched WME Legends, a management company focused on estate and brand management for late entertainment artists.
The new division will be run by music and entertainment industry veteran Phil Sandhaus, an estate manager and consultant for artists such as Buddy Holly, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Whitney Houston.
As a launch point, the agency brought aboard the estates of luminaries such as Andy Kaufman, Eartha Kitt, and The Wailers co-founder Peter Tosh.
Kaufman, who died in 1984, was a mainstream star on Taxi and had iconic appearances on Saturday Night Live.
Kitt was an Emmy-winning singer, actress, dancer, comedian, civil rights and anti-Vietnam war activist.
So, what can the agency do for these customers?
- For Kaufman: publication of unreleased novels, TV specials and performances.
- For Kitt: development of a biopic, a stage musical and a possible documentary about the entertainer, who broke the racial barrier by playing the first Black Catwoman on “Batman” in the 1960s.
- For Tosh: a limited series biopic, a feature film and a stage musical based around the life of the reggae great.
And there already was a department within William Morris for such estate-based clients.
This new, specific agency division will complement its marquee estates such as those of Agatha Christie, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Donna Summer, August Wilson, Isaac Asimov, Edward Albee, Abe Burrows and Terrence McNally, among others.
The representation of the estate of Peter Tosh, according to the Hollywood Reporter, is in association with Brian Latture and the MegaSource Entertainment Group.