Funeral services were pending Thursday for Ed Hookstratten, a sports and entertainment attorney whose client list ranged from Elvis Presley to Vin Scully to Johnny Carson.
Hookstratten, nicknamed "The Hook," died Wednesday at his Beverly Hills home at age 83. His son, Jon, said his father died of natural causes after a long illness.
"My father was a larger-than-life personality in a town that specializes in them," Jon Hookstratten said. "He was obsessed with taking care of his clients who became a part of his family."
Born in Whittier, Hookstratten attended USC on a baseball scholarship, graduating with a business degree in 1952. He earned his law degree from Southwestern School of Law in 1957.
During his storied legal career, he amassed an impressive client list that also included Dan Rowan and Dick Martin, Joey Bishop, Bryant Gumbel, Tom Brokaw, Tom Snyder, Paul Moyer, Dick Enberg, Merlin Olsen, Don Meredith, Marcus Allen and Pat Haden. He was also general counsel for the Los Angeles Rams.
Hookstratten gained some big-screen notoriety in "This is Spinal tap," Rob Reiner's rock "mockumentary" which featured a character named Lt. Bob Hookstratten, played by Fred Willard.
"Ed Hookstratten was a brilliant lawyer, my representative and one of my dearest friends in all the world," Scully said. "He introduced me to my wife Sandi, was our best man at the wedding and was there for me during my darkest hours. My heart goes out to his family with deepest sympathy. His memory will forever be a part of our lives."
Brokaw called Hookstratten "a one-man force in the agency business," and "the last of the great and effective lone operators who knew everyone on both sides of the table."
"I remember the first time I hired him," Brokaw said. "I was up for a big job at NBC, and when I told the executive in charge Ed would represent me, he clutched his heart and said, 'Oh, God, the Hook!' I knew then I was in good hands."
Hookstratten is survived by his wife, Aimee; ex-wife Pat Crowley Friendly; brother Jim; son Jon and daughter-in-law Marion; daughter and son-in- law Ann and Bob Osher; daughters Eve and Mae; and five grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Hookstratten's name to USC Athletics - Baseball, c/o Jill Dennis, 3501 Watt Way, Los Angeles, 90089.