Ken Kragen, Famed Film & TV Producer and Manager, Dead at 85

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Ken Kragen
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Famed entertainment manager and producer Ken Kragen died Tuesday afternoon, at his home in Brentwood, California. He was 85.

Kragen's spokesperson, Cheryl J. Kagan, confirmed the news to ET in a statement on Thursday, and said he was surrounded by family and loved ones when he died.

Kragen's wife of 43 years, actress Cathy Worthington, said of Kragen, "To have been married to someone of such character and loving goodness is the honor of my life."

His daughter, cinematographer Emma Kragen, shared in the statement, "While I am of course immensely proud of everything he has accomplished professionally, he has also been the best dad to me that I could ever ask for."

Throughout his long career, Kragen was a personal manager and close friend to some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Olivia Newton-John, Burt Reynolds, The Bee Gees, Trisha Yearwood, The Smothers Brothers and many others.

In line with his role as a manager, Kragen also worked as a producer on many film and TV projects, often featuring the stars he managed. Kragen produced TV shows including the legendary Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, as well as Kenny Rogers' Gambler films.

Kragen was also a devoted humanitarian with ambitious aspirations for helping the world through entertainment. He was responsible for organizing and securing talent for the iconic We Are the World album in 1985, and for organizing the famous Hands Across America charity fundraising event in 1986.

For his efforts, Kragen was awarded the United Nation’s Peace Medal, becoming one of only a select few private individuals to be awarded the prestigious honor.

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