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Cas Donovan

Cas Donovan

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Also Known As: Cassie Donovan, Cass Donovan Died:
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Part producer and part provocateur, Gavin Polone was one of the biggest power players in Hollywood, leaving a trail of Emmy nominations, burned bridges and scorched earth to prove it. He began producing films in the late 1990s before transitioning to television in the 2000s, where he served as an executive producer on the family comedy-drama "Gilmore Girls" (WB 2000-06 / CW 2006-07) and the biting comedy series "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO 2000- ). As a survivor of the Hollywood machine, Polone created headlines as often as he penned them himself, operating as a media pundit on issues ranging from writers' strikes to Occupy Wall Street and airing the industry's dirty laundry as a columnist for New York magazine and the Hollywood Reporter. Polone grew up in San Fernando Valley, California as a shy, sensitive kid in an unhappy household. His parents split when he was in middle school, and Polone credits his ambitious drive to the motivation for leaving his early self behind. After graduating early from the University of California at Berkeley, he obtained his realtor's license and even applied for the CIA. While international espionage was not in the cards, Polone soon grew bored of real estate and...

Part producer and part provocateur, Gavin Polone was one of the biggest power players in Hollywood, leaving a trail of Emmy nominations, burned bridges and scorched earth to prove it. He began producing films in the late 1990s before transitioning to television in the 2000s, where he served as an executive producer on the family comedy-drama "Gilmore Girls" (WB 2000-06 / CW 2006-07) and the biting comedy series "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO 2000- ). As a survivor of the Hollywood machine, Polone created headlines as often as he penned them himself, operating as a media pundit on issues ranging from writers' strikes to Occupy Wall Street and airing the industry's dirty laundry as a columnist for New York magazine and the Hollywood Reporter.

Polone grew up in San Fernando Valley, California as a shy, sensitive kid in an unhappy household. His parents split when he was in middle school, and Polone credits his ambitious drive to the motivation for leaving his early self behind. After graduating early from the University of California at Berkeley, he obtained his realtor's license and even applied for the CIA. While international espionage was not in the cards, Polone soon grew bored of real estate and seized the opportunity to become an assistant at ICM (International Creative Management) after meeting one of their TV agents at a party when he was 21. Polone quickly worked his way up the chain to become a literary agent representing writers and was later ousted from ICM when they suspected he was defecting to another agency. Polone then joined Bauer-Benedek Agency, which later become United Talent Agency (UTA) and kept Polone on as a partner. Before Jeremy Piven immortalized the ruthless Hollywood agent on "Entourage" (HBO 2004-2011), Polone earned the reputation as the "Dark Prince of Hollywood," for his take-no prisoners negotiating skills.

In 1996, after nearly seven years with the agency, Polone was unceremoniously fired from his $1-million-a-year job without severance and slandered in the entertainment press by his agency, saying he was dismissed on account of sexually harassing another agent. Polone counter-sued for compensation, followed by three more years of suits that shed on light on the sordid antics of UTA and its dope-smoking, alcoholic, cocaine addled, fraudulent and sexually-harassing agents. After the fallout with UTA, Polone struck out on his own, launching his own management and production company, aptly titled Pariah, in 2001; he dropped all of his clients except for Conan O'Brien. Despite having represented some of the biggest names in film and television, Polone wanted to produce, and got his first feature film credit with the film "8MM " (1999), a dark thriller about snuff films starring Nicolas Cage. With his usual grueling work ethic, Polone wanted to create an empire of his own and went on to produce numerous films including: the dark comedy "Drop Dead Gorgeous" (1999), "Stir of Echoes" (1999), "Panic Room" (2002) and the Johnny Depp thriller "Secret Window" (2004).

With a few blockbusters under his belt, Polone set his sights on the television industry, sharing the credits with the very writers he used to represent. Polone went on to executive produce all seven seasons of the cult hit "Gilmore Girls." Polone continued to work steadily in television, producing "The Showbiz Show with David Spade" (Comedy Central 2005-07), "My Boys" (TBS 2006-2010) and "Curb Your Enthusiasm," earning him seven Emmy Award nominations. Polone continued to divide his time between television and film, picking up producing credits for the hit comedy "Zombieland" (2009), starring young up-and-comers Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg. While his producing duties certainly kept him busy, Polone had to flex his management muscles during the infamous Late Night Wars of Television. Polone represented Conan O'Brien during the ensuing legal battles, helping to ink his deal with TBS; he later produced a revealing documentary about Conan hitting the road after leaving NBC titled "Conan O'Brien Can't Stop" (2011).

Despite his zeal for over-achieving and working punishing hours, Polone admitted to mellowing over the years and even penned an op-ed questioning the ethics of the filmmaking and television industry and the hours it required. Having worked as a producer for many years, there was one facet of the industry that still intrigued Polone: directing. As a rule most networks don't allow executive producers to try directing a show in its first season, but Polone was not deterred, and he made his directorial debut during an episode of the family show "Jane by Design" (ABC Family 2012). In 2013, he produced another series for ABC Family titled "Twisted" (ABC Family 2013) and directed a number of episodes.

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