Floria Lasky, Lawyer Who Represented Broadway Greats, Dies at 84

Obituaries   Floria Lasky, Lawyer Who Represented Broadway Greats, Dies at 84
Floria Lasky, a lawyer who wielded great power in the theatre world through her representation of such talents as Elia Kazan, Tennessee Williams and Jerome Robbins, died Sept. 21 in Manhattan. She was 84.

Ms. Lasky was a member of the law firm Fitelson, Lasky, Aslan & Couture. Her clients included Burl Ives, Frederick Loewe, David Merrick, Gypsy Rose Lee, Jule Styne, Frederick Loewe and Carson McCullers. When her clients died, she often went on to represent their estates. She also helped run their foundations, including those of Robbins and Loewe.

A small woman who wore large hats and numerous necklaces, she was fiercely loyal to her clients. When Kazan was awarded an honorary Oscar 1999 for his life's work, and those still angry with the director for having named names during the McCarthy era suggested he apologize for his actions, Ms. Lasky snorted, "Apologize for what?"

She also defended people who were not her clients. Angry over the way New York Post theatre columnist Michael Riedel had treated Bernadette Peters in a series of recent articles, she grabbed the journalist's tie at a party and said, "It was unfair what you did to Bernadette."

Floria Vivian Lasky was born in the Bronx on April 24, 1923, the daughter of Polish immigrants, who named her after Floria Tosca, the heroine of Puccini's opera, according to the New York Times.

At the age of 14 she attended Hunter College, where her classmates included Bella Abzug; she later graduated from New York University law school first in her class. After graduating, she joined the law firm of Fitelson & Mayers and stayed there for 62 years. Survivors include her sister, Joyce Lasky Reed of Washington; her daughters, Emily, of Manhattan, and Dara Altman, also of Washington; and two grandchildren.

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