Stars of the stage and screen turned out at Sardi’s iconic restaurant in the Broadway theater district to commemorate the 81st birthday of veteran motion picture, television, and Broadway producer Julian Schlossberg and to launch the publication of Try Not to Hold It Against Me: A Producer’s Life, his memoir of nearly 60 years in the entertainment industry.
Born and raised in the Bronx, Schlossberg was an avid fan of radio, TV, and the movies since childhood, who dreamed of someday meeting his favorites celebrities. Over the course of his career, he not only met many of them, but also became their producer, director, representative, and friend, hosted hundreds of stars on the syndicated radio and television show Movie Talk, and interviewed over 120 of the biggest names and most influential figures of his lifetime for his fourteen-hour series Witnesses to the 20th Century.
At 27, Schlossberg became the youngest head film buyer for a national theater chain. After working at the ABC network, the Walter Reade Organization, and Paramount Pictures, he started his own motion-picture company Castle Hill Productions (a take-off on his own name in English translation), which, with a library of over 500 films, would become one of the largest independent film-distribution companies in the world. In addition to film and television, he has also produced award-winning plays and musicals for Broadway and Off-Broadway, working closely with such legendary writers and directors as Mike Nichols, Larry Gelbart, Susan Stroman, Woody Allen, and David Mamet.
Those are but a few of the many experiences Schlossberg shares in his new autobiography, just released by Beaufort Books and discussed at the celebration at Sardi’s – the perfect location for the show-biz theme, with portraits of countless luminaries lining its walls. He was joined at the event by special guests and longtime friends Marlo Thomas, Tony Roberts, F. Murray Abraham, and Laila Robins, who read a selection of chapters from the book, filled with a wealth of behind-the-scenes information and vivid descriptions, an engaging style and a delightful sense of humor. It all made for a terrific afternoon of joyful camaraderie, captivating storytelling, and an inside look at a must-read for fans of the stage and screen.
Julian Schlossberg, Try Not to Hold It Against Me: A Producer’s Life (NYC: Beaufort Books, 31 January 2023), 374 pages, hardcover, $26.95, ISBN: 9780825310256, e-book, ISBN: 9780825309007, is available now from Amazon and other booksellers.
For Schlossberg’s inside look at the memoir in his own words, watch the video below: