Jeff Wald, Producer and Manager for Helen Reddy, Dead at 77

Jeff Wald, who was manager for Helen Reddy, Sylvester Stallone and George Carlin, died on Friday. He was 77 years old.

Wald’s daughter, Traci Wald, confirmed his arrival The Hollywood Reporter. No cause of death.

“In the end, he laughed and fought for the life he lived with epic proportions in every way,” Wald said in a statement provided to CHEAP. “He is surrounded by the family he loves so much and music is the soundtrack to his eternally optimistic life. We are heartbroken at the loss of a husband, father, friend and fierce fighter for women’s rights and justice for all.”

Wald was a longtime manager for Australian singer and activist Helen Reddy, his wife from 1966-83 and who died in September 2020 at the age of 78. During the 70s and 80s, producer, boxing manager and promoter who has represented through his management company a host of famous stars including Donna Summer, Sylvester Stallone, George Carlin, Marvin Gaye, Miles Davis, Roseanne Barr, Mike Tyson and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Later in his career, he became the CEO of Aria Multimedia Entertainment, the company that produces popular coffee table books about talents like Michael Jackson.

Born in 1944, Wald – commonly known as Jeffrey Sommers – began his long career in 1967 when he moved to Chicago and worked as a talent acquisition for nightlife venues such as Mister Kelly’s, The London House and Happy Medium. A year later, he moved to Los Angeles, and in 1969 founded a management company with Ron DeBlasio, which quickly added Carlin to its client list.

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In 1971, Wald secured Reddy’s recording contract with Capitol Records. That deal would go on to produce the feminist song and the Grammy-winning hit “I Am Woman.” Wald and Reddy have two children, Traci and Jordan.

In 1987, he got married American graffiti actress Candy Clark, but they divorced in 1988. He went on to marry photographer and photo editor, Deborah, in 1990, and he has a daughter, Sarah.

During the 80s and 90s, Wald would focus on film and television production, becoming president of the American game show production company Barris Industries in 1986 before the company merged with the Guber Company- Peters. Guber-Peters was acquired by Sony in 1989 and he would leave his role there in 1991, moving on to producing TV series, miniseries, specials, and titles through the early 00s. .

His producer credits include Rosie O’Donnell performance, Roseanne show, Newly married game, Pensacola Wings of Gold and Gong performance show as well as specials for Reddy, Elvis Presley, Summer, Kenny Rodgers and Tyson. He was also an executive producer for four seasons of the mid-2000s reality boxing competition The competitoralong with Mark Burnett, Jeffrey Katzenberg and co-host Stallone.

In 1997, Wald ventured into boxing and with Irving Azoff founded AzoffWald. The company counted George Foreman’s last two battles among their work. Wald also promoted champions Sergio Mora, Peter Manfredo, Steve Forbes, Sakio Bika and K9 Bundrage.

In a 2011 interview with CHEAPWald talks about his years of cocaine use in the ’70s and ’80s. In 1986, he was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles after an overdose before entering the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage.

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Wald credits his time there with more than two decades of sobriety. “I have been sober for 25 years now. I never thought I could do that. And I don’t miss it,” he said CHEAP. “I have been married now, 20 years, to the same person. I really agree. I have a wonderful child; I notice. I am present. I have a good relationship with my older children. God bless them because they were so tolerant.”

During his decades-long career, Wald was also an active political fundraiser, largely for Democrats, and served in a variety of political appointments. In addition to being Jerry Brown’s delegate to the 1976 Democratic convention and Ted Kennedy’s 1980 delegate, he has served in various federal and state political positions, including four-year terms. on the board of directors of the USO, the position to which he was appointed. President Jimmy Carter, and as a member of the Economic Development Commission of the State of California, he was appointed to a role by Jerry Brown.

Outside of politics, he was Mayor Bradley’s appointment to the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Organizing Committee and served on the board of governors at Cedars-Sinai, USC, and the Betty Ford Center.

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