DICK DUANE was a singer and MGM contract player and literary agent born on this date (d: 2021); He began his career as a MGM contract player and went on to become a well-known New York cabaret singer, advertising executive, literary agent.
He was instrumental in the creation of the novel Midnight Cowboy written by his then boyfriend, James Leo Herlihy and the subsequent packaging of the Academy Award-winning film of the same name. The novel is dedicated to him as well. Following several appearances as a solo artist on The Ed Sullivan Show and several gold records, he appeared regularly in most major nights clubs across the country and internationally during the 1950’s.
He produced the off Broadway play Stop You’re Killing Me, also by James Leo Herlihy (author of Midnight Cowboy) at the 73rd Street Theater in 1969. As a board member of Lorillard & Co. and through his company Duane Enterprises, Dick created major advertising campaigns for Kent brand cigarettes as well as Newport and True Blue brands .
In 1973 Duane, with Robert Thixton, formed Pinder Lane Productions which quickly grew into a successful award winning music and film production company in New York City. In 1985 the company expanded and became the celebrity talent booking agency for BBDO New York and subsequently BBDO Worldwide and its affiliates as well as other major ad agencies throughout the world; signing film stars, performing artists and former Vice-Presidents to endorse and appear in numerous commercials and in effect created branding.
A successful literary agent, he was co-owner of Pinder Lane & Garon-Brooke literary Agency, which represents major literary clients. He is survived by his husband of 50 years Robert Thixton, who continues to operate both companies.