Jim Wilhelm, a theater agent who represented actors including Olivia de Havilland, Daniel Dae Kim, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lea Salonga and Cybill Shepherd, has passed away. He was 68.
Wilhelm died in New York on Monday after a brief battle with cancer, a publicist announced.
Wilhelm was one of the original founders of Douglas, Gorman, Rothacker & Wilhelm, one of New York’s preeminent theater agencies since its inception in 1988. In 2010, he became the first theater agent to vote for the Tony Awards.
Over the years, Wilhelm also counted as clients Lynn Cohen, Sandy Duncan, Lainie Kazan, Alice Ripley, Kathleen Chalfant, Elaine Paige, Sierra Boggess, Douglas Sills, Keala Settle, Paige O’Hara and Jodi Benson.
He served as vice president of the board of directors of the National Association of Talent Representatives and was an active participant in and a founding board member of Broadway Cares, which helps people living with HIV and AIDS.
Wilhelm, who received his communications and theater degree from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, began his theater career as an actor (earning his Equity card at the Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera). He worked as a stage manager, PR director and casting director before becoming a talent agent.
Wilhelm has taught theater seminars and classes at universities and conservatories across the country, including NYU, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Boston Conservatory, Elon University and, most notably, the University of Cincinnati/College-Conservatory of Music, where he established an annual scholarship to be awarded to an outstanding senior musical theater major on behalf of his late client and friend, Broadway actress/performer Laurie Beechman.
After 45 years in New York City, he retired in Milford, Pennsylvania in 2021.
Survivors include his husband of 40 years, Jeff Potter; brothers Tim and Keith; and sisters-in-law Sandy and Franceine.