A heavenly “landing” for one of our own.

Michael Filerman Broadway ProducerVery few individuals can cross the bridge from Broadway to Hollywood and back again.  And over the weekend, we lost one of the best travelers there ever was.

Michael Filerman, the TV producer behind 14 seasons of “Knots Landing” as well as “Dallas,” and “Falcon Crest,” passed away on Saturday night at the age of 76.

Michael’s name was above the title on a bunch of Broadway shows as well, including Cinderella, Driving Miss Daisy, Nice Work If You Can Get It, and many more.  And he invested in countless more . . . including, Altar Boyz.

Michael was one of my first investors and, I’m not gonna lie, he was a tough one. He always kept me on my toes.  I’d pitch him a project and he’d answer me super fast and give me a zillion different reasons why it wouldn’t work, forcing me to give him even more reasons why it would.  I remember one exchange that ended with him saying, “I’m done with Broadway!  No more!”  Flash forward to two months later and there he was sitting across from me at an ad meeting for a show as a Producer.  I said, “Michael, what happened?  I thought you were done!”  He said, “So did I.  But I’m just a sucker for a great show.”

Whether he invested in a show of mine, or didn’t, he was always pulling for me . . . and for every producer out there.  He sent me a note after Godspell announced its closing saying that I should be proud that the production got so many young people to the theater.  He sent me a note when he couldn’t make it to a reading of Somewhere in Time just to say he was sorry, because he knew how long I had been working on it.

You’ll be missed, Michael.  Give ’em hell up there, will ya?


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  • Louise H Beard says:

    Ken –
    Cannot thank you enough for this post. Michael was my mentor and trusted advising Producer on at least 10 Bway shows. I have lost a good friend, as we all have, and love that you honored him with this post!

    Louise Beard
    SwineSTARS Productions
    A CHRISTMAS STORY, the Musical

  • Elaine Sonkin says:

    Dear Mr. Davenport,
    Thank you for the lovely writing about my childhood friend, Michael Filerman. It warms my heart to know that in his business deaings he still was the same sharp, unassuming, honest good guy that we’ve known all these years. He never bragged about all the ventures he was involved with. We just knew about Dallas, Knots Landing, Falcon Crest and Sisters.
    Even in High School he so wanted to be in “show business”. I think he pinched himself every so often during all these years of success.

    He was buried today January 31,2014, in Chicago at Westlawn Cemetery. I’m still in denial. I don’t want to process the fact that Michael is no longer here with us as he has always been since grammar school.

    Would it be possible for you to send me a copy of your story about Michael as my computer won’t comply and I do want to have your words about my friend with me always.

    Thank you,

    Elaine Sonkin
    416 W. Barry
    Apt 207
    Chicago, IL 60657

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