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Insurance Broker in Hollywood Was 80

Insurance Broker in Hollywood Was 80

Shel Bachrach, a top insurance broker in Hollywood whose behind-the-scenes work helped movies like Cliffhanger, The People vs. Larry Flynt and Ali get made, died Monday in Palm Springs, a publicist announced. He was 80.

Bachrach provided financial protection and mitigated risks associated with such potential problems as drug-related filming delays (think Courtney Love in The People vs. Larry Flynt), actors who pilot aircraft (Harrison Ford) and directors who could be sidelined by age issues (David Lean, for his last movie, A Passage to India) or medical issues (John Huston, who battled emphysema).

Bachrach arranged risk management on stunt-filled films — if a star is injured during production, a movie could grind to a halt — and wrote policies for magicians and “Big Cat” performers in Las Vegas and for game shows like The Price Is Right, where contestants can win great sums of money.

Born in Detroit on April 7, 1944, Sheldon Jay Bachrach wrote his first entertainment insurance policy in 1983 and soon developed a reputation for “insuring the supposedly uninsurable.”

In 1990, he wrote a life and disability policy valued at more than $140 million that got him into the Guinness Book of World Records.

In addition to the action-packed Cliffhanger (1993), The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996) and the punches-filled Ali (2001), Bachrach provided insurance services on such other films as Medicine Man (1992), Color of Night (1994), Cutthroat Island (1995), Evita (1996) and The Shadow Conspiracy (1997).

He was president of entertainment and high net worth divisions for USI Holdings (acquired by Goldman Sachs in 2007) and president of Beverly Hills-based Albert G. Rubin Insurance Services before he launched Bachrach & Associates in 1990.

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Bachrach & Associates merged with the Insurance Office of America in 2014.

Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Kathy; his children, Laura, Scott, Ryan and Courtney; and his grandsons, Benjamin, Asher and James.

His family is represented on the board of governors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and have been members of the Amie Karen Cancer Fund for Children for 20-plus years and the Assistance League for more than a decade.

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