Author David Rensin has a lengthy section on Jeff Wald in his 2003 book The Mailroom. Here's an excerpt:
Jeff: I went to DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx. My brother and cousin went to the Bronx High School of Science. I got accepted there too, but before I started, somebody hit my brother, so I grabbed the guy by the hair and dragged his head along a chain-link fence, nearly wiping his nose off his face. The kid's mother made a big deal, and Bronx Science wrote my mother - my father, a doctor, died when I was eight - telling her to let me go somewhere else. They didn't want discipline problems.
One day Hal Ray told me about this party on Fourteenth Street for a hypnotist from Australia named Martin St. James. Hal Ray had his own apartment and was f---ing a lot of great girls; we were always looking for action. Elliot and I crashed the party. I met a girl there. She came up to me and said, 'This is my party. It's my birthday. It's to raise rent money." I didn't contribute... Later she said, "I'm going to f--- you tonight." I married her three days later. Her name was Helen Reddy.
Helen had a two-year-old kid. I moved in with her at the Hotel Albert, on Ninth Street and University Place. What a f------- s------. You'd be in the bath and the cockroaches would scurry up the wall.
Lake Tahoe, Jan. 5 - Singer Helen Reddy and husband-manager Jeff Wald are seeking damages totaling $5,000,000 in two lawsuits against a South Lake Tahoe City Councilman and the city's daily newspaper.
Oakland attorney Barry Morris filed th suits in the couple's behalf in Superior Court in Placerville, California, charging South Lake Tahoe Councilman Norman Woods with slander and invasion of privacy and the Tahoe Daily Tribune and unnamed staff members with trespassing and invasion of privacy.
The suit against Woods asks a total of $4,000,000 in damages... The suit against the Tribune asks a total of $1,000,000...
The legal action stems from publicity surrounding improvements Reddy and her husband plan to make on their $180,000 beachfront home in South Lake Tahoe. The California Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (CTRPA) - on whose governing board Woods sits - was asked last month to remeasure the singer's driveway following criticism she received special treatment in obtaining a permit for the building additions.
The suit against Woods charges he slandered Wald and Reddy at a CTRPA board meeting by saying they used "improper influence" through California Gov. Jerry Brown to persuade the CTRPA to give them permits.
The suit against Woods also charges he intentionally tried to harm the couple with the statements and invaded their privacy "by portraying in a false light" their actions.
The suit against the Tribune charges unnamed staff members trespassed on the Reddy-Wald property in early September and took news photos, invading their privacy.
STATELINE, Nev. - Jeff Wald, manager/husband of Helen Reddy, will appear in court here Friday on charges of threatening pickets with a shotgun at the Sahara-Tahoe Casino Hotel.
Redyd, who's been appearing at the hotel for about four years, was near the end of her one-week engagement June 30 when the confrontation occurred, sources claim.
Two strikers claim Wald pointed a 12-gauge weapon at them and tried to run them down with his car in the hotel's parking lot. Wald, 36, reportedly admitted displaying the gun but denied he pointed it at anyone, and charged the pickets harassed his family and taunted his wife.
L.A. Herald-Examiner 9/8/80
Sure, Jeff Wald told us yesterday, "there are occasions when I choose to throw my wieght around, but this isn't one of them." This was the Huge SAG Do at the Bowl Tuesday night, and The Whole Thing swings around the nasty talk circulating about by Those Who Tend To Know. The Talk? That when Wald was assured there was no room on the bill for wife Helen Reddy - understand, she was Not Alone: Folk like Willie Nelson and Neil Diamond also volunteered bravely, but a shoehorn couldn't have squeezed them in either - he mustered up and bellowed, "She will be on the program!"
L.A. Herald Examiner, 9/24/80
[Wald]..was humming along to the speed limit westbound on Sunset Boulevard at about 8:45 Monday night. Suddenly, the way Wald tells it, a Terrible Thing. A million-year-old Caddie knocked the stuffings out of an Oldsmobile sneaking off the San Diego Freeway. The Caddie pulled over, so did the Olds, and Wald - no stranger to tight turns - hung a U-ey right in the midst of the boulevard and reconnoitered the scene. A few other Samaritan types joined him. The Olds, and its 17-year-old driver, they found, were Not In Great Shape. The Caddie and its pilot fared a lot better. Wald dropped a few flares, returned to his Rolls, snatched the phone and rang up the cops for an ambulance. In a flash, the Caddie revved up and shot off again. Wald dropped the phone and followed.
"It was ridiculous," Wald told us yesterday, "a Rolls convertible isn't exactly a chase car." But chase he did - at 80mph, with flashers flashing and his brights burning up the night - down Sunset, through Holmby Hills and into Bel-Air. "I started getting nervous as we got into the hills," Wald offered. "I wanted to get his license, but I didn't want him to corner me."
Anyway, six red lights later, a couple of motorcycle cops took off after The Chase. Wald pulled over and gave them the info. Two squad cars appeared. A police helicopter drifted in, too. And three miles later, The Kid - 16 years old - was nipped, on Bellagio Road in Bel-Air.
"I did it," Wald said, "because I didn't realize what was happening. And the nerve of that (fill in the blank). How dare someone do what that kid did?"
L.A. Herald-Examiner 1/16/81:
In a rather remarkable report on drugs and their effect on Hollywood, Rona Barrett this morning revealed on "Tomorrow Coast to Coast" that Jeff Wald's heavy use of cocaine contributed largely to his separation last week from his wife of 14 years, singer Helen Reddy. Before the show aired, Rona yesterday told us that Wald is now undergoing daily treatment for the problem, and, so far as the marriage goes, there's always the chance for reconciliation.
His daily use of cocaine, he told us, "didn't lead to the separation, but it certainly was a factor." How much coke did he use? "I don't know. I can't count that high."
Wald, now out of their Brentwood home and in residence at L'Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills, has sought treatment from "a pharmacological therapist," he told us, "a doctor who specializes in drug withdrawal."
"I'm getting treatment for a problem that a lot of other people in this town have, to say the least. Outside of maybe Lima, Peru, this is the cocaine capital of the world. Understand," he added, "I'm dealing with it. It hasn't debilitated me." And, he adds, "I've been clean now for 12 days - since a week ago Sunday."
People magazine, 3/16/81
Helen Reddy's recent short-lived petition for divorce from husband-manager Jeff Wald was just the latest in a series of blows. Two of Wald's star clients, Donna Summer and Sly Stallone, deserted him some time ago. Last July Wald was arrested for brandishing a 12-gauge shotgun in the parking lot of the Sahara Tahoe, and in September he reportedly threatened to beat up comedian Pat Cooper. Later Wald annunced he had a serious cocaine habit. The reason Helen withdrew her petition the day after she filed was that she decided, "After 13 years of marriage, a separation of one month is too short to make a decision." In any case, Wald has continued to represent her. Though he movd out on January 2, Jeff continues to show up at Helen's Bel Air, Claif. mansion every day for breakfast.
L.A. Herald Examiner, 3/23/81, by Nicole Szulc:
Australian-born singer [Helen] Reddy and her manager-rcord producer husband, Jeff Wald, - are filing suit against the National Enquirer...
Wald claims an Enquirer story published March 3, 1981, under the title "Helen Reddy Gives Hubby Heave-Ho" was "filled with innuendos, falsehoods, untruths, lies, malicious gossip, slander."
"And, in general, I didn't like it," Wald added wryly.
Wald said his attorney, Russ Frackman of the Los Angeles firm of Mitchell, Silberberg and Knupp, wrote the Enquirer a three-page letter before publication of the article warning the magazine the contents were not true "because we knew it was coming."
"They chose not to listen and printed it anyway," Wald said.
The article, under the byline of Dan Schwartz, began by describing Reddy as a "fading singing star," and went on to call Wald a "madman" who is "aggressive, uncontrollable and prone to wild acts."
The Enquirer story, which claimed Reddy was looking for a new manager to replace her husband, stated that Wald once went to a radio station and took his arm and swept everything off the table because they weren't playing a Reddy song. It also alleged that on another occasion Wald beat up a Capitol Records executive in an elevator.
Finally, the Enquirer story quoted Reddy as saying to Wald: "What poor mangled corpse did you tread on today to get me to the top?"
Wald denied the "corpse" quote and the rest of the story point by point. Reddy and Wald, who, while "working on a reconciliation," are again living together with their two children in their Brentwood home, both denied she is looking for a new manager.
Reddy said the article shocked and distressed her. "It was devastating - very demoralizing and insulting. It particularly bothers me because of my children who have to go to school and face their friends who may have read the article."
Wald, who is active in Democratic politics, said he would have sued the Enquirer over this story even had it not been for the Burnett suit.
"In my opinion, it's a rag," Wald said. "They've been getting away with this kind of thing for too long.
"They wrote nasty things, and things that weren't true over the years."
Wald cited an article in the Star, another supermarket newswrack weekly, a one which was "tough" but accurate. The article, headlined "My eight years on cocaine split us up, Helen Reddy's husband confesses," described Wald's decision to stop using cocaine.
L.A. Herald Examiner 5/14/81:
Of course Jeff Wald didn't show in Nevada yesterday for the start of his trial. How could he? He and wife Helen Reddy were busy in Bophuthatswana - that's all the way around the globe in South Africa - prepping for her million-buck, 18-day concert stint. (Don't worry, there'll be no South African hanky-panky involved at all, Helen's contract puts it in black and white that she'll only warble to racially mixed audiences.) Anyway, somebody forgot to let Round Hill, Nev., Justice of the Peace Glen Anderson in on that. Because he issued a no-bail warrant for Jeff's arrest yesterday when Jeff failed to materialize. (Wald, you'll recall, was charged with a misdemeanor for brandishing a shotgun at a striking Sahara-Tahoe hotel-casino employee last July. The employee also accused Wald of trying to lay tire tracks all over him with a jeep. The case has already been dismissed twice by a previous magistrate. Still, it keeps coming up. Tuesday, the Nevada Supreme Court denied a motion to stop the action on Wald's contention that he was denied a speedy trial and that he'd encountered misconduct by the prosecutor.)
L.A. Herald Examiner 3/24/83:
That feuding uncouple, Helen Reddy and Jeff Wald, are at it again. The other day Page 2 chronicled Jeff's side of how he rescued his 10-year-old son, Jordan, from the clutches of Helen's fiance, drummer Milton Ruth, who allegedly slapped the boy.
In papers filed in an L.A. Superior Court, Helen has another view of the Brentwood brouhaha. Every time Jordan returns from a vsit with Papa Jeff, Helen claims, he is "uncontrollable and totally hostile towards me and my fiance."
Reddy, just back from a tour of Europe, was tired and suffering from a cold and did not have the patience to deal with her son, who she says was "shouting obscenities," "kicking" and "striking" her live-in fiance. She gave Papa Jeff a buzz and asked him to pick up the boy. Upon Wald's arrival, the boy slipped out the back door and jumped into his father's car.
Inside Helen's house, the battle began. Wald suddenly "burst through the back door and began shouting obscenities," the singer claims, and "pushed me around with his bodyguard standing behind him." Upon seeing Ruth at the top of the a stairway, Wald shouted obscenities at the drummer as well. "Hey... come down here," Reddy quoted Wald as saying. Ruth obliged, whereupon Wald shouted more obscenities into his face and taunted him, "Come on, hit me, coward, come on hit me." Ruth declined and claims the singer, Wald "lost total control" and began shoving and striking her fiance.
Ruth, in self-defense, claims Reddy, grabbed Wald. The bodyguard, "who had been pushing me and shoving me...forcibly pushed me aside, grabbed Mr. Ruth and hit him in the right eye with his fist," says Reddy. The drummer went down for a count.
Wald and his "goon," as Reddy calls the associate, retreated to the car. Ruth and Reddy followed, whereupon, the documents say, Wald "tried to run down Mr. Ruth with his automobile." Unsuccessful, Wald "yelled for help from his bodyguard," who replied, "Jeff, there's a .45 on the floor of the car." Wald, his son and his associate drove off. Father and son are now vacationing in Hawaii.
Ruth, in a separate affidavit, denied strking the child. He also alleges that Wald has made several threats against his life.
Jeff Wald...filed a $5,000,000 slander suit Friday in L.A. Superior Court against Gary Olsen, Reddy's attorney. He claims he was damaged by the statement, "Hell hath no fury like a husband who lost his meal ticket," attributed to Olsen in a May 16 People magazine story.
2/1/86 LA Herald Examiner
Jeff Wald is living proof that drugs can kill - years later. The Hollywood agent...is in an L.A. hospital suffering the latest effects of the cocaine habit he kicked several years ago, the one that came close to killing him last Saturday. Here's the sobering story he told Marilyn Beck: "I went to the Malibu emergency hospital with terrible shooting pains in my head. Doctors told me I had something called Orvital Sellis and said fluid from an infectionwas leaking to my brain. I was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Hospital, my face all swollen, my left eye the size of a grapefruit; they operated on me and drained the fluid, and said a few hours later and I would have been dead."
He says he may be hospitalized at least two more weeks. And "there could be a relapse; the infection is still there. The drugs I used ate away my nasal and sinus tissues. There are just spaces where bone was, and there's nothing to stop an infection from going from my nose to the brain."
He adds, "Please, tell people not to do drugs. It doesn't make any difference when they stop. It can kill them."
Candy Clark and Jeff Wald were married at sunset, New Year's Day at the Oahu home of Sweetie and Tom Moffatt (concert promoter). The Hollywood group at the Kahala who came over for the ceremony included: the Jeff Katzenbergs, Cyndi Garvey and Ron Meyer, David Geffen, Ava Ostern and Chuck Fries, Norman Pattiz, Nancy and Michael Lippman, etc. Pat Caddell gave the bride away and Jeff's son, Jordan, was best man. "This was a great start for the new year," reminds Wald. "Last year, I was going into the Betty Ford Center. I am grateful to her and to Norman Brokaw."
JEFF WALD writes in the Los Angeles Times 3/23/92:
With articles like ["On The Ropes: Columbia Execs Under Fire Over Costly Flops" 3/17/92], the press helps create an atmosphere of fear where people are loath to take chances and make hard decisions.
We cannot allow the press to intimidate our business and our political leaders. We cannot have people create and communicate and prosper in a climate of fear, afraid to make mistakes.
The press has a responsibility to be balanced and fair and not fan an atmosphere of instant success or failure, providing more instability and insecurity in an already unstable economy.
We are all part of the same community and need to encourage each other to prosper.
Julia Phillips spends about 45 pages on manager-producer Jeff Wald in her 1991 book, You'll Never Eat Lunch in this Town Again.
Jeff knew Julia's hubby Michael Philips growing up. After Julia and Michael won a Best Picture Oscar for The Sting, Jeff and his wife Helen Reddy invited them to their home for dinner. Like most folks in Hollywood, the Phillips found Helen cold and Jeff vulgar.
After Julia and Michael divorced, Jeff said nasty things about Julia to defend Michael.
Then Julia and Jeff hooked up in Hawaii around 1981. Julia describes their sex as boring.
Wald refused to accept that he's addicted to cocaine and that he and Helen blew most of the $40 million they made.
Julia Phillips visited Wald at Cedars Sinai after his overdose. She writes in her book:
Mr. Wald is not that great looking to begin with and this operation he had two days ago is wreaking havoc with his face. For starters, they have pinned his left eye pretty much back onto his face... Just now he is sporting orange and blue, which give a Modern Art cast to his head.
His mouth is already fixed in a permanent snarl because of childhood polio. He could end up with his facial features looking like a Picasso.
I had gotten a hysterical call from his daughter, Traci, the day before, telling me...that he had woken up two days ago with his face exploded and his eyes bugging out of his head and that he had been in surgery for six hours before they could cut out the pustule that had traveled from his nasal cavity into his brain...
"I did so much blow I tore the tissue away," he is explaining to me... "Jordan found me, bicycled all over the colony until he could find someone to help."
Jeff Wald appears prominently in an article in the August, 1991 issue of Spy magazine about "Voices That Care," the celebrity salute to the trop stationed in the Persian Gulf:
...[O]nly has-beens were interested until Kevin Costner volunteered.
The credit for snaring Costner goes to Jeff Wald, executive coproducer of "Voices That Care," who is now poised to assume the mantle of Hollywood conscience broker, held most recently by Ken Kragen, the organizer of USA for Africa. That could not have been easily predicted, as Wald, the onetime manager of his ex-wife Helen Reddy and of Marvin Gaye, is a legendary wild man - even by Hollywood standards.
"One day about ten years," remembers a music industry executive, "I'm on Pacific Coast Highway, and there's Jeffrey handcuffed to the door of his Rolls-Royce. Another time he put a shotgun in the face of a union picketer in Lake Tahoe. [He's] a nice guy but a f---ing lunatic."
"I am a f---ing lunatic," Wald agrees...
"We had a lot of people like me who are vehemently antiwar who really went in there as a f---ing support for the troops," Jeff Wald says. "It was probably collective guilt about the way all of us treated the Vietnam guys.... It wasn't meant to be a f---ing victory parade or any of that s---, because if you look at what's happening now with the Kurds, it's nothing to be proud of. What it was about was some f---ing kid with pimples over there who's going to sleep in a place where he can't get a f---ing beer or look at a porno magazine. To let him know somebody gave a s---."
IN A SUBSEQUENT ISSUE of Spy magazine, these letters to the editor were printed:
Thomas Routson from Gulf Breeze, Florida, writes: "Those eloquent words of "Voices That Care" executive producer Jeff Wald remind me of the days I spent working at the famous Hotel L'Ermitage in Beverly Hills (1982-87). After Jeff moved out of the posh Helen Reddy estate in Santa Monica, he moved into the 'Tage. One morning he rang the front desk to say that he'd just returned from a morning out doing things and his bed had not been made yet. It being already 10AM, he assured me that if I didn't get the maids up to his townhouse that instant, he'd "throw the f---ing bed out the window." Thanks for the memories."
Tim Golliher from Cincinnati, Ohio, writes: "Before reading your column, I had no f---ing idea who Jeff Wald was. That f---er is the greatest. I respect a guy who cuts the crap and gets down to the serious s--- without talking his f---ing ass off. It's gotta be tough to stand up for all-American things like broads, beer and porno magazines while putting up with tons of f---ing criticism from f---ers who don't give a s---.
"Back in the late 1970s," notes Joel Kotkin in the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, "... [future California governor Gray] Davis became acquainted with [former Governor Jerry] Brown's powerful coterie of Jewish political bankrollers like financiers S. Jon Kreedman, superagent Jeff Wald, and Eli Broad. The big Democratic political money in Los Angeles Democratic politics, Davis realized, was Jewish ... Davis made it his job to be the Gentile champion of the Jews." [KOTKIN, 5-29-98]
I found this PR release about Wald on the Internet:
Jeff Wald (Producer) has enjoyed success in a diversified career in the entertainment industry, spanning over three decades and involving talent management and the development and production of film, television and live entertainment projects. In 1994, he partnered with Herb Nanas, and 2 days in the Valley marks their inaugural feature film production together.
With a keen eye for talent, Wald began his career as a personal manager in the early 1960s. Since then, he has been responsible for managing such noted artists as Sylvester Stallone, Paul Rodriguez, George Foreman, Peter Allen, James Brolin, Tom Skerritt, George Carlin, Elliot Gould, Deep Purple, Helen Reddy, Donna Summer, Flip Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Chicago and Crosby, Stills & Nash, to name only a few. In 1987, he became President of Barris Industries, Inc. where he was involved in every facet of the television and management divisions. He also served as executive producer of several revitalized and revamped Barris game shows, including the new incarnations of "The Dating Game," "The Gong Show" and "The Newlywed Game." When Barris merged with Guber-Peters Entertainment in 1988, Wald was named President of Television and Management. During his tenure, he was also the producer of a number of television movies and specials, including "Switched at Birth," "Christmas on Division Street" and "Miracle on I-880."
Stepping out on his own, he formed Jeff Wald Entertainment in 1991. In addition to managing an impressive client list, he served as executive producer of Paul Rodriguez' comedy specials as well as his popular Univision talk show. He also executive produced four Fox Network specials and the CBS special "Back to School '92," which featured such top artists as Robin Williams, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Whoopi Goldberg, and marked the first network appearance of Boyz II Men. He was also the co-organizer and co-executive producer of "Voices That Care," a non-profit foundation to raise money for the USO and the Red Cross Persian Gulf Fund. Together with Herb Nanas, he has also produced a number of other network and cable specials, including "Latin Nights" and "Elvis: The Tribute," both for ABC. In addition to his work in the entertainment industry, Wald is a politically active member of the community. His involvement has included an appointment to the Board of Governors of the USO by President Carter, and he served for six years as an original member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee. He is also a recipient of the prestigious City of Hope Award.