A special New York memorial was held for veteran TV executive and producer Russell Kagan at the Writing Room — the restaurant at the site of his beloved former haunt Elaine’s.
Kagan, a pioneer in the international TV distribution business and such a fixture at marketing events that he became known as the “Mayor of Cannes,” passed away in Los Angeles in March at age 65.
His son, Michael Kagan, a partner and head of international television and media at ICM Partners, said: “Dad used to go to Elaine’s all the time. He was there at least twice a week for many years until he moved to LA, so it seemed fitting to remember him at the Writing Room. I got thrown out of that place by Elaine enough times for talking on my phone . . . It was really sweet that we got to memorialize him in a place that he loved.”
Guests at the packed memorial included many former regulars of Elaine’s — the legendary Upper East Side haunt for literary luminaries and celebrities for decades under the auspices of owner Elaine Kaufman, who died in 2010.
The crowd shared stories including anecdotes about how well-known and well-traveled raconteur Russell had been involved in so many Biblical series that he called himself “the token Jew in the Vatican.”
Also there were Katherine Oliver, Ed Rollins, Russell’s longtime girlfriend Janis Kaye and her friend Marla Maples, former CEO of Telemundo Jim McNamara and filmmaker Steven Rosenbaum.
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