Leonard Traube, Broadway and Celebrity Press Agent, Dead at 84

Obituaries   Leonard Traube, Broadway and Celebrity Press Agent, Dead at 84 Leonard Traube, whose long career as a theatrical and celebrity press agent took him from the era of Walter Winchell to the time of Liz Smith, died on Dec. 3.

The cause was prostate cancer, the Western Queens Gazette—to which Mr. Traube was a contributor—reported.

Mr. Traube was part of a theatrical family. His brother was director and producer Sheppard Traube, his wife Beverly Anderson is a Broadway and film agent, and his niece, Victoria Traube, is a senior vice-president at The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization.

Mr. Traube did the press for a brief 1975 Broadway revival of his brother's best-known success, Patrick Hamilton's Angel Street. He also represented Vincent Price, who starred in the original Angel Street in 1941. Mr. Traube's first job shilling for Broadway was Maurice Chevalier in an Evening of Songs and Impressions in 1948, and he followed it with shows such as Two's Company, the musical that starred Bette Davis, This Was Burlesque, Fifth of July and The Country Girl.

The Brooklyn native was by the side of several stars at the beginning of their careers, including Marlon Brando during his tenure in A Streetcar Named Desire and John Belushi and Chevy Chase before their "Saturday Night Live" days. Other celebrity clients included Gregory Peck, Gene Barry, Audrey Hepburn and Vincent Lopez.

A large part of Mr. Traube's job was feeding items about his roster of stars to the powerful newspaper columnists who dominated Broadway news during the post-World War II period, including Walter Winchell, Ed Sullivan and Robert Sylvester. To do so, he would haunt such society joints as The Stock Club, Copacabana and Toots Shor's, where the newspapermen would nightly roost. His co-hort of publicity was often Eddie Jaffe, another jack-of-all-trades publicist, who died in 2002. Leonard Traube was born to William and Helen Traube on Dec. 12, 1919, in Brooklyn. Among his other sources of money were films, restaurants and boxers.

He is survived by his wife Beverly Anderson and sons Fred and Michael. A memorial service was held at the Frank M. Campbell Funeral Chapel at 1076 Madison Avenue on Dec. 12.