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Memorial Service Set For Thursday For Popular NYC Talent Agent From Oradell

A memorial service for Mark Schlegel was scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at the Church of the Atonement in Tenafly.
A memorial service for Mark Schlegel was scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at the Church of the Atonement in Tenafly. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Church of the Atonement, Volk Leber Funeral Home

ORADELL, N.J. -- He represented some of Hollywood's most familiar names -- from Samuel L. Jackson and Debra Messing to Viola Davis and Steve Buscemi -- some of whom were expected to pay final respects this week to Mark A. Schlegel of Oradell.

Others plan to attend a celebration of life being planned for the legendary talent agent in New York City.

A memorial service for Schlegel, 57, was scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at the Church of the Atonement on Highwood Avenue in Tenafly.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Volk Leber Funeral Home , 268 Kinderkamack Road in Oradell.

Born in Peoria and graduated from Plymouth High School in Indiana, Schlegel received a communications degree from DePauw University in 1981 before heading for the Big Apple.

Once there, he worked for The Mitch Leigh Company, producers of the Broadway hit “The King and I," starring Yul Brynner.

Brunner "saw so much potential in Mark that he recommended he become an assistant to his legendary agent, Robert Lantz," his obituary says.

"Under Lantz, Mark learned firsthand the importance of personal attention to clients," it adds.

Schlegel later worked as an agent with Ambrosio/Mortimer & Associates, J Michael Bloom and APA.

For the past 15 years, he was a partner at what his obit calls "one of the few premiere boutique agencies still in existence in the entertainment business," Cornerstone Talent Agency in Manhattan.

Along with partner Steve Stone, he represented, among others, Kassie Depaiva, Deborah Headwall, Neal Huff, Peter Friedman, Brandon Flynn, Terrence Mann, Jefferson Mays, Marin Mazzie, Clark Middleton, Bryce Pinkham, Lois Smith, Daniel Sunjata and Lillias White.

Over the span of his career, he also reprented Buscemi, Messing, Davis and Jackson, as well as Jeff Goldblum, David Harbour, LaChanze, Denis O'Hare, Thomas Everett Scott, Michael Stuhlbarg and Molly Ringwald.

Schlegel "would regularly go from coast to coast in search of new talent," the obituary says.

He lectured at Rutgers and the Yale School of Drama, among other institutions.

His obituary says Schlegel also sat in on acting classes, "giving constructive critiques to students and offering insight and honesty to them so that they didn't feel so powerless or clueless as to the 'business of the business'."

Schlegel and his wife of 33 years, Christine Karner Schlegel, were home a day after a family trip to Scotland when he went for a walk and never returned on Aug. 13, authorities said.

An Oradell police officer found Schlegel's body in bushes just off Kinderkamack Road, barely a half-mile from his home, during a massive search last Thursday.

Besides his wife, Schlegel is survived by his son, Reid Andersen Schlegel, and daughter, Kirsten Margaret Schlegel, as well as his parents, Shirley and Donald Schlegel; his sister, Christine Schlegel Sullivan and her husband, Kent Sullivan.

Loved ones asked that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to New Jersey Search & Rescue, P.O. Box 14, Mahwah, NJ 07430 ( ) and/or to The Actor’s Fund, 729 7th Ave., 10th Floor, New York, NY 10019 ( ).

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