by Greg Evans
Gene Parseghian, the co-founder of New York’s Parseghian Planco management and production company who managed the careers of Daniel Day-Lewis, Eddie Redmayne, Kit Harington, Kathleen Turner, Betty Buckley and an array of Oscar, Tony and Emmy winners, died today of cancer at his home in Manhattan. He was 72.
His death was confirmed by Angela Carbonetti, his associate of more than 20 years.
Born in Oneonta, NY, Parseghian began his career as an actor, earning a bachelor’s degree in theater from Antioch College, studying in London at the Guildhall School of Music And Drama and receiving an MFA in acting from Stanford University.
After working as an actor in Manhattan during the early 1970s, he became an agent, opening Parseghian Associates in 1977, and then merging with John Kimble in 1978 to form Kimble/Parseghian. Several years later this firm merged with others to form Rifkin, David, Kimble, Parseghian and then DHKPR, which became Triad Artists in 1985,
Parseghian was a founding partner in Triad and the head of its New York office. When the company was acquired by the William Morris Agency in 1992, Parseghian spent seven years there as a SVP there. He left WMA in 1999 and joined with Johnnie Planco to form Parseghian Planco, the management and production company in New York.
According to Carbonetti, Parseghian has represented Day-Lewis for the past 33 years, and managed the careers of Redmayne, Harington, Turner, Buckley, Rufus Sewell, Hugh Dancy, Essie Davis, Olympia Dukakis, Christopher Abbott, Miranda Richardson, Billy Connolly, Luke Kirby, Arliss Howard, Harris Yulin, Chris Ghaffari and Michael Ballhaus, among others.
He also spent time representing Judi Dench, William Hurt, Joan Hackett, Isabella Rosellini, Emma Thompson, Mark Rylance, Julianne Moore, Cate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, Christopher Walken, Julie Andrews and many others.
Parseghian is survived by his husband Michael Colberg, an attorney and family systems therapist. The couple have been together for 40 years and adopted their daughter Rachel in 1988.
In a statement released by Carbonetti, Parseghian and Colberg’s adoption of Rachel was described thusly: “Their daughter Rachel was born in Columbia Hospital for Women in Georgetown, D.C. The U.S. government administrates the district and did all it could to prevent them from becoming a family. Tipped off to the fact that the District had sent people to take physical custody of their 35-hour-old daughter from them, they went into hiding long enough to prevail against the government and established their legal right to proceed with their adoption. Over the next three years they quietly made history several times as they successfully fought until both Gene and Michael had secured a legal relationship with their daughter Rachel Colberg-Parseghian. Rachel, a graduate of Friends Seminary in Manhattan and Macalester College in St Paul, MN, has grown into the single thing Gene is most proud of having contributed to.”
In addition to his husband and daughter, Parseghian is survived by a family of brothers, sisters, in-laws, nieces, nephews, friends and colleagues. A memorial service will be scheduled.