The late CAA agent Jay Moloney, who hung himself in 1999, was the son of frustrated Malibu screenwriter Jim Moloney.
Jay attended USC, "the best industry-networking school next to Harvard," according to veteran showbiz journalist Nikki Finke.
After his freshman year, in June 1983, Moloney got a CAA internship thanks to veteran agent Marty Baum who knew Jim Moloney.
Jay went to work as a nanny at Mike Ovitz's Brentwood home. Jay watched Mike's kids, changed diapers, and drove Mrs. Ovitz around town. From there, Jay moved into the CAA mailroom. He worshiped Mike Ovitz and "kissed his ass." In exchange, he was assigned to Ovitz's arena.
In a story for the 11/29/99 issue of New York magazine, journalist Nikki Finke says Moloney imitated Ovitz's manipulative ways. Jay vetted reservations for Wolfgang Puck's Spago, letting the maitre d' know who was worthy of an A table.
Two of Moloney's college buddies showed him a screenplay about two young athletes trying to make it to the bigtime. Moloney lifted the material and eventually a movie was made without any credit to the originators of the story. Moloney became notorious for intellectual property theft.
Moloney was Ovitz's spy at CAA, letting his boss know what was going on in the company. In exchange, Ovitz gave Moloney access, allowing him to sit in on important meetings. When Jay became an agent, he clients like Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman and Bill Murray. Later he represented directors Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg. According to Finke, Ron Meyer told Jay's colleagues, "Mike always thought that anybody he trained was better than anybody else."
Moloney helped steal directors Mike Nichols from ICM and Tim Burton from William Morris.
Finke writes that Connery left Moloney after the agent repeatedly lied to him.
Jay dated actresses Sherilyn Fenn (Twin Peaks), Jennifer Grey and Gina Gershon.
His drug habit was well known in Hollywood by 1993.
Naomi Pfefferman wrotes in the 6/14/02 Jewish Journal: When Bernard Rose first met superagent Jay Moloney, the inspiration for his controversial new film, "ivansxtc," he was a hot young director courted by every agent in town. "I was staying at the Mondrian, and gifts would suddenly appear in my room," says the 41-year-old Jewish Brit, who had just made an acclaimed 1988 drama, "Paperhouse."
"There was champagne from William Morris, and limousines would come to take me to parties, and people would say outrageous things like, ‘We’re going to make you a star.’"
Jay Moloney, then in his mid-20s, was boyish, charming, personable, a "good flatterer," Rose recalls. The heir apparent to Michael Ovitz at Creative Arts Agency (CAA), he also had a reputation for reeling in clients such as Martin Scorcese and Steven Spielberg. He promised Rose he could get his movies greenlit, and he delivered, pushing through the deal for his horror flick, "Candyman," and securing actor Gary Oldman for the 1994 Beethoven biopic, "Immortal Beloved."
At a glittering industry gala in 1995, the director recalls Moloney sitting at the head table next to Ovitz, Spielberg and late movie mogul Lew Wasserman. "At one point, Jay came over and said that Ovitz was about to leave CAA and that he was going to take over the agency," Rose recalls. "No one doubted him for a moment. And then the next thing I heard was that Jay had been fired for cocaine addiction."
CAA fired Moloney in 1996. In November, 1999, Jay Moloney, aged 35, hung himself.
Sources: Naomi Pfefferman, "Tinseltown Exposed" Jewish Journal,
June 14, 2002.