His family shared that he passed away on 6 August at his Malibu home after a prolonged illness.
“I had known Bill for many years … since 1959. We met when I was The Gary Moore Show, Later when I was doing my show, he became my manager. But not just my manager. He was one of my closest friends in the world. I loved him dearly … and I will miss him,” Burnett said in a statement.
Throughout his career, Robinson also represented the likes of Judith Anderson, Alan Arkin, Tony Bill, Peter Falk, James Garner, Glenda Jackson, Waylon Jennings, and Jane Mansfield.
It was Robinson who gave Mike Medavoy his first job as an agent and the current chairman and CEO of Phoenix Pictures and former chairman of Tri-Star Pictures remembered how their initial meeting was.
“You’re going to have a tough time in this business as Morris,” wrote Medvoy in his book, Bill Robinson told me when he hired me to be an agent at his agency. You’re Only Your Next One: 100 Best Movies, 100 Best Movies, and 100 for
who should shoot me, “‘You have a middle name?’ ‘Mike,’ I told him. I wasn’t crazy about my first name anyway. Besides, I had nothing to do with my naming. ‘Mike… Medavoy,’ he repeated. ‘It went on.’ “
Robinson was born in 1929 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. His family moved to Los Angeles at the age of 16. After graduating from high school, he worked as a dress salesman. After a stint in the US military during the Korean War, he returned home, answered a wanted ad for an NBC page, and got a job. During his duties at NBC, he met Ida Lupino, who urged him to become an agent. He took his advice and reached a position in the MCA mail room, where he apprenticed under the great Lew Wasserman. He was quickly promoted to a talent agent, representing small-scale musical acts throughout the Southwest.
He would eventually land at the Kurt Fringe Agency where he represented Hepburn. Later, he moved to the Ashley-famous agency where he built his reputation before becoming independent with Ted Ashley’s blessing and a $50,000 check to help him get started.
Robinson is survived by his wife of 38 years Mandy Robinson and their daughter Hannah Robinson.