Fifi Oscard, Talent Agent for More Than 50 Years, Dead at 85

Obituaries   Fifi Oscard, Talent Agent for More Than 50 Years, Dead at 85
Fifi Oscard, an agent of actors, authors, directors and playwrights for 50 years, died suddenly Nov. 12 at the age of 85, according to a death notice in the New York Times.

Ms. Oscard, also known as Fifi Steinmetz, ran The Fifi Oscard Agency in New York City. Among her clients over the years were Orson Welles, Art Buchwald, Jack Palance, William Shatner and the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Margaret Edson, who penned Wit.

In addition to representing artists and writers, she sat on the boards of the Mercantile Library of New York, the New York Hall of Science and the Avignon/New York Film Festivals. She was also on the council of the Temple of Understanding, a member of the Cosmopolitan Club, the Coffee House and The Women's Forum.

In 2002, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women.

According to an early bio in "Who's Who of the American Theatre," Ms. Oscard was born Fernanda Oscard in New York City. Her father was a silk importer. After high school, she attended Barnard College and married H.M. Steinmetz, a lawyer-executive, in 1939.

She founded her agency in 1959, with offices in New York and associates in Hollywood and London. Before that, she was associated with the Olga Lee-Stephen Draper Agency (1949-59) and Lucille A. Phillips (1952-59). In its early years, her organization handled talent "in all branches of theatre, television and motion pictures" with emphasis on "announcer-narrators and complete casting of industrial productions." Literary representation was added to the agency's portfolio in 1978. And over the past 25 years its projects have expanded from "the early synergistic celebrity autobiographies" to "a roster of clients in almost every area of publishing," according to the agency's website.

Ms. Oscard is survived by her son, Eric Steinmetz and his wife, Sylvie, and six grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

The family requests donations to The Mercantile Library.

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