- Jack Gilardi and Annette Funicello was a successful American talent agent, a former army veteran, and Anette Funicello’s ex-husband
- They were married for more than a decade and a half before going separate ways in 1981 due to irreconcilable differences
- The marriage produced three children, Gina Portman, Jack Jr Gilardi, and Jason Gilardi
Late talent manager, Jack Gilardi spent almost 7 decades as an agent with ICM Partners. He managed actress and singer, Annette Funicello whom he married in 1965 and divorced in 1981 due to irreconcilable differences. During the nearly 2 decades of marriage, the pair welcomed 3 children, Gina, Jack Jr, and Jason.
As an agent, he represented some of the biggest names and talents in Hollywood including, Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Charleson Heston, Joe Mantegna, Jerry Lewis, and Frankie Avalon, just to mention a few.
Unfortunately, he passed away in September 2019 at the age of 88, while his ex-wife died in April 2013 at 70.
The Background of Jack Gilardi
Jack Gilardi was born on October 5, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois. While growing up, his dream was to join the medical profession as a doctor. So, he enrolled at Loras College, Dubuque, Iowa. However, he relinquished his dream of becoming a doctor and earned a degree in organic chemistry.
Gilardi was drafted into the United States Army, and it was here that his career in the entertainment industry was birthed.
He Had a Successful Career as a Talent Agent
As mentioned, Gilardi’s career in entertainment started while he was still in the army. It was at his station at Fort Knox, Kentucky that he began to book entertainers, especially musicians to perform at the base. It didn’t take much longer before he was hired as an agent by the General Artists Corp in 1954. And over the next couple of years, more opportunities came his way.
As his involvement with the General Artists Corp paved the way for his blossoming career, his influence as an agent was on the increase. Hence in 1975, the Corp signed a merger with International Famous Agency to birth ICM Partners. And Gilardi was at the heart of the development.
This was seen in his drive and passion for the company and evident in all the years of his career spent working there.
Some Of The Clients He Represented
Over the course of Gilardi’s nearly 7-decade career as a talent manager, he represented high-profile talents in Hollywood. Some of them include:
- Charlton Heston
- Burt Reynolds
- Carroll O’Connor
- Shirley Maclaine
- Telly Savalas
- Jerry Lewis
- Joan Collins
- Sylvester Stallone
- Frankie Valli
- Faye Dunaway
- Don Rickles
- Cliff Robertson
- Roy Scheider
- Robert Wagner
- Shelly Winters
- Joe Mantegna
- Beverly D’Angelo
- Paul Anka
- Don Jonshon
- O. J. Simpson
The Truth about Why His Marriage to Funicello Ended
The late talent manager’s marriage hit the rocks in 1981 after nearly 17 years when Funicello asked for a divorce. The marriage ended because of irreconcilable differences, as Gilardi and his ex-wife had different social orientations. While he was very social, she preferred to stay at home.
You may be curious as to how the pair first met. Gilardi reportedly met Annette Funicello in 1961. It was on the set of Babes In Toyland (1961) where she was playing the role of Mary Contrary, while he was managing her.
Eventually, the pair began to date. However, it was reported that he wasn’t the only one she was dating at the time. She dated Gilardi and Avalon at the same time, but he got the better of her as he would later get married to her. He tied the knot with her on 9th January 1965.
5 years after the divorce, she found love in the arms of a horse breeder/trainer Glen D. Holt. She married in 1986 and remained his wife until her demise on the 8th of April 2013 in Bakersfield, California. Before she died, she was initially diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1987, and it was the disease’s complication that took her life so many years after.
The Talent Manager and his Ex-Wife are the Parents of Three Children
They went on to have 3 children; a girl and two boys. They are Gina, Jack, and Jason. His oldest child and daughter, Gina was born on 17th October 1965, followed by Jack Jr on 10th February 1970, and lastly, Jason on 24th October 1974.
Interestingly, the celebrity children have established careers in the entertainment industry from acting to music.
Gina who married her husband John Portman in 1994 is an actress. Jack Jr is a film producer known for producing movies such as Detention (2003), The Machanik (2005), and Direct Contact (2009) among others.
While Jason on the other hand went into music as a drummer for the band Caroline’s Spine but left the band in 2007.
Where is Annette Funicello’s Husband, Jack Gilardi Now?
On Thursday morning, the 19th of September 2019, Jack Gilardi passed away peacefully while sleeping at his home in Los Angeles at 88. The news of his demise was announced by an ICM spokesperson, indicating that he died in the presence of his family. While he died in his sleep on a Thursday morning, Funicello is said to have battled multiple sclerosis from 1987 until he died from its complications
The ICM whom the deceased worked with for 64 years and was on course to mark his 65th anniversary in October 2019 before his passing praised him for being a father, mentor, and a friend to the staff at the company. Similarly, the agency sees him as an embodiment of a selfless person who spent his entire life and career in the company.
Quick Facts About Jack Gilardi
- He was an ardent baseball fall who went all the way to initiate the Hollywood Stars charity baseball game featuring the high and the mighty in showbiz at Dodger Stadium.
- During his time as commissioner of Encino Little League Baseball’s 10-team league, he helped raise $200,000 for charity.
- Encino Little League complex main field was changed to Gilardi Field in 1985.
- As part of his philanthropy, he raised and donated to several charities including, the Motion Picture Relief Fund, the Leukemia Foundation, the City of Hope, and the Concern Foundation.
- He was the grandfather to Jack lll, Luca, Nico, and Jordan.