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Pioneering Agent Barbara Skydel Dies

NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Veteran New York agent Barbara Skydel has died, reportedly due to complications with cancer.

Skydel had a long career, working at Frank Barselona's New York-based Premier Talent, first becoming vice president at the agency in 1977 and then partner in 1985. Skydel was the first woman to serve as a principal at a major agency.

She repped numerous major clients over the years, including Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Keith Richards, The Who, Roger Daltry and The Clash.

Skydel joined William Morris as a Vice President when they acquired Premier in 2002 and remained with the company through their merger with Endeavor last year.

"An hour ago we lost the greatest rock n roll agent the world has ever known. My friend Barbara Skydel passed away today & I am numb. Over my 25 year career, Barbara was the only person who stuck with me through the whole thing, always believed In me, never left me. Until today. A very, very sad day. I loved you Barbara thanks for always being there for me & my family & fans. No one rocked harder than you." said Sebastian Bach, one of Skydel's clients. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

Comment From Gail Colson:

A few hours ago I found out that my dear friend and business colleague Barbara Skydel had passed away.

I had known of Barbara’s name and reputation since the 70’s/80’s, but did not have the pleasure of working with her until I took on the management of The Pretenders around 1989. I don’t think I need to go into what a great agent she was and what a pleasure she was to work with – funny, irreverent, brilliant at her job, etc. I am sure you will hear that from many people who worked with her over the years – how sad that nobody thought of honouring her in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – I am sure they will now.

For the past two years, perhaps more, she had not been well, first with an operation on her brain and then discovering she had the big C – though all of this you never would have known – she is/was the bravest person I have ever had the privilege of knowing.

What I wanted to share with everybody was, what will be my most enduring memory of Barbara. She called me one day to go over the routing of the last Pretenders tour, at some point there was a strange noise on the phone and I asked her where she was, she replied in the hospital having her chemo – it is so bloody boring that I might as well continue working! That was Barbara.

Last summer The Pretenders were playing in Central Park, that was one of her targets, she had missed two New York shows, she was going to see this one. She arrived in the park, courtesy of Ron Delsner (god bless you Ron) in a golf buggy with a police escort and we got her on to the side to the stage to see the show. That was the last time I saw her, although we spoke every couple of weeks.

God bless you Barbara.

Gail Colson
reGail Management
Matrix Complex
91 Peterborough Road
London SW6 3BU
Tel: 020 7384 8989
Fax: 020 7384 8988