In Hollywood managers, agents and publicists are the keepers of the stars’ greatest secrets. Some are even legendary in their defense of clients and Budd Moss is one of them. Just a few blocks from the UCLA Westwood campus, Budd and his beautiful wife are often entertaining family, friends and the icon’s famous and not so famous clients. Though when represented by Budd Moss, it’s just a matter of time before fame comes knocking at the door of the talent.
Long before today’s A-list actors were household names, there are men and women in the industry, the unsung heroes who tolerate the outlandish attitudes and demeanors of many who come to Hollywood with visions of grandeur in their minds, certain that they are going to be the one who becomes the next Bette Davis, or Sidney Poitier or Spielberg. It’s men like Budd Moss, who through unparalleled patience, wisdom and dedication who are able to put aside all the “attitude” of the new talent and find ways to hone that energy into the next big screen splash.
Budd Moss has worked with almost everyone in this town at one time or another. Now he’s busy working with famed celebrity ghost writer Julie McCarron to put the final touches on his biography “And All I Got Was 10%.” When Budd Burton Moss began his career as a Hollywood agent, and now he’s known to all entertainment insiders as a maverick, who has managed and fought for the livelihoods of many of the biggest stars today. He’s lived an exciting life with ladies on his arm from the beautiful Ruth Roman to Columbia Film stunner Rita Hayworth. In Budd’s book there is a very poignant, sexy and exciting story about the night he spent with Rita Hayworth in his arms.
His story with McCarron on the case will be something HBO or even the big screen may ponder producing, and I want the part of his valet in the film version of Budd’s fabled life. “Perhaps you can meet the hottest director out there today, or a producer who is about to cast a major film and one of my clients is perfect for the role, but they don’t have the name recognition to get an audition,” said Moss. “That’s what I contend with and it’s what I love to do. I would never have chosen another path, as I’ve represented some of the biggest stars and some of the most talented people, who may not have become huge stars, but they work regularly.” Before Tom Cruise was a name in Tinseltown, he was one of Moss’s clients. He’s witnessed some of the greatest rises in popularity and seen some devastation in its wake.
When friend Ronald Reagan became President of the United States in 1980, Moss was one of the Hollywood crowd that knew him long before he was a household name. Reagan had dated Moss’s first wife Ruth Roman and Moss had represented Reagan’s daughter Maureen previously. “He was a gentleman, someone everyone knew was destined to do bigger things, even if we didn’t realize it would mean he’d become an occupant in the White House,” said Budd. Friends over the decades with Academy Award winning actor Sidney Poitier, Moss still has the weekly luncheon and meeting with his clients even if they are perhaps semi-retired. He also is one of Larry King’s best friends. Those of us who have had the honor of knowing Budd realize he’s a gem, a gentleman and a fighter in the industry. “Sure, I grew up seeing it all from the inside. My uncle was a producer at MGM in the early days, and I grew up watching my father edit film at Universal and then later I also worked in some films at that studio,” stated the manager.
There is one subject and one star’s name that brings pride but also some sadness into the handsome icon’s eyes. “Rita Hayworth I knew and worked with at a time when she was dealing with the early onset of Alzheimer’s. It was a difficult time, none of us knew what was the matter with her, but realized that she was changing. She’d been the most beautiful woman on screen and was still lovely, but a shadow of herself mentally and emotionally and we didn’t know it was the dreaded disease,” said Moss. “Another beauty I worked with and knew very well was Cyd Charisse. She was indeed a great person and super talented.”
What may surprise and garner the attention of Hollywood insiders and fans of some of Hollywood’s biggest names is that the star maker is in the process of completing his official biography with . Moss’s collection of stories of some of the best kept secrets in Hollywood is one of the most anticipated tomes in the history of publishing. Everyone is clamoring for the details of the book. I have been given a sneak peek, and can verify that it’s a page turner. From love affairs, three Oscar nominations for clients he’s represented, one even overdosing on pills the night before the awards show, and a major soap star, that has created a mystique around herself, readers of his biography might be shocked to know some of the star’s biggest secrets.
Like everything Moss has touched, the book has the Midas touch with a great deal of class and dignity. Longtime friend, the late Jack Valenti is discussed, and a great deal more. When is this book coming to stores? Stay tuned.
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photograph (Budd Moss on Universal Studios Backlot) is Courtesy: Budd Moss’s Private Collection
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