Who Is Michael Ovitz? (Hardcover)
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“When the history of Hollywood is written, few people will have played a larger role than Michael Ovitz.... It is impossible to read such a chronicle and not see Mr. Ovitz as the Steve Jobs of agenting, possessing a version of Jobs’s fanatical drive and a similar desire to remake an industry.” —The Wall Street Journal
Who is Michael Ovitz? He’s a striver who talked his way into the famous mailroom of the William Morris Agency without any connections, then worked his way out of the mailroom in record time.
He’s an entrepreneur who left a safe job to launch Creative Artists Agency, growing it from five guys in a rundown office to the most powerful agency in the world.
He’s a friend and confidant to megastars such as Steven Spielberg, Tom Cruise, Robert De Niro, David Letterman, Sean Connery, Bill Murray, Paul Newman, and Martin Scorsese.
He’s a pioneer who reinvented the role of the agent in packaging actors, directors, writers, and producers, which made CAA the essential hub of countless movies and television shows.
He’s a master negotiator who drove historic deals for many of his clients, as well as the acquisitions of two major studios by Sony and Matsushita.
He’s a self-taught connoisseur of art and architecture, a generous philanthropist, a devoted father...
And to his detractors he’s a world-class jerk and a ruthless manipulator who double-crossed his friends, crushed his enemies, and let nothing stand in his way, ever.
After decades of near silence in the face of relentless controversy, Ovitz finally tells his whole story in this memoir, with remarkable candor and insight. If you’re going to read just one book about how show business really works, this is the one.
About the Author
Michael Ovitz cofounded CAA in 1975 and served as its chairman until 1995. For most of the past two decades he has been a private investor and an adviser to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. This is his first book.
"When the history of Hollywood is written, few people will have played a larger role than Michael Ovitz.... It is impossible to read such a chronicle and not see Mr. Ovitz as the Steve Jobs of agenting, possessing a version of Jobs’s fanatical drive and a similar desire to remake an industry." —The Wall Street Journal
"A revealing retelling of his Hollywood career…. A study in the unusual personality traits required to pull this off, Who Is Michael Ovitz? represents a master class of sorts." —The New York Times
"Learn how to build an empire and transform an industry from the Jedi master of modern Hollywood." —Marc Andreessen
"This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. The meticulous detailing is as graphic and captivating as Michael’s Jasper Johns 'White Flag' painting. The stories are vivid, educational, entertaining, and deeply satisfying." —LA Reid
"Who Is Michael Ovitz? is an unexpectedly good read….What makes [it] juicier than the average business memoir is that the author proves surprisingly willing to dish about the foibles of former clients and colleagues alike." —Michael Cieply, Deadline: Hollywood
"Michael is a legend and I don't use that term lightly. Learning from his journey is something that every entrepreneur and executive should do." —Gary Vaynerchuk
"Michael’s brilliance and relentless drive clearly shine through in this entertaining memoir. You see the man behind the agency and how he built a global business empire. His life story has powerful lessons for us all." —Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner
"It is truly rare to read a book this honest from a living legend. The Hollywood superhero lets us peak behind his mask and understand his weaknesses and methods.... I was shocked, thrilled, and surprisingly educated. A masterpiece of a memoir."—Ben Horowitz, co-founder and general partner, Andreessen Horowitz