An Economic Samurai

Even before his latest coup, he was regarded as the most powerful man in Hollywood. Michael Ovitz, the town's No. 1 talent agent, can make or break a movie project or an actor's career. But as the power broker behind Matsushita's acquisition of MCA, Ovitz has reached an international stature that even legendary moguls might envy. "He is the mega-dealmaker," says an industry executive. "Not only on a film-by-film basis, but on the very largest scale of buying and selling studios. That is the most significant thing you can do in Hollywood."

Ovitz, 43, has pursued power with the fierce concentration...

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