Memories of
Hal Guthu
Contributed by Actors & Models


I always adored Hal...

I read these thoughts on Hal and the description about the polaroids. He was such a creature of habit - living in a time warp almost. Just a year or so ago I took J. by to see him and to look at his books. At the time I was struck by the fact that every single detail - his office, Max [his bird], how he dressed, the studio, what he wanted to talk about - everything was exactly the same as it had always been. And after that visit, I got several calls from him saying "Hey! I gotta job for ya! Are you interested?" in his usual positive, upbeat style.

I'll miss him...

Danni Ashe
VB Productions

I am one of Hal's girls... 

Hal was the last of the good guys in Hollywood! He was so nice, so trustworthy... that is rare nowadays. He took the model's word as gold. If you had a problem with someone that he sent you to, he would not work with that guy again. His reputation was spotless. He was a gem! I wish I told him how I felt, I wish I could tell him how much he was appreciated and how much I appreciated him. He was loved by so many people.

Stacy Burke

This is such a shock. He was so wonderful.

Simone Devon
Devonshire Productions

"Remembering Hal"

Remembering what it was like to barely have enough money to eat every day -- driving through McDonalds or Carl's Jr.  Scraping up change abandoned by my family to get a hamburger.  I was in desperate need of money. A friend of mine was telling me about an agent, Hal Gathu. An honest man with a heart of gold -- a legend in his own right, and if he likes you -- he'll help you like no other.

I can still feel those emotions today -- young, shy, and scared, I drove around searching for a number I had on a piece of paper. Hmmm, this must be it.  No windows, just an address -- 7428 Santa Monica. I knocked on the door and Hal, an older man in great shape with glasses, greets me. I'll never forget -- "Hi Hon!! Oh, this is Max," (chuckling) "he won't hurt you! (A huge bird -- red and blue, never ever left Hal's side)  "Really Hal, birds scare me!" "That's what he's trying to do -- intimidate you. Honest, hon -- he won't hurt you -- he loves to draw on polaroids."

Another thing that Hal was great at -- taking polaroids. The directors love to see what the girls look like when they are natural in polaroids. (Did I ever tell you how much I loathe polaroids?) "Come on" (as he guides you to the studio in the back). "Hon -- change into a bathing suit or lingerie and stand over there" -- snap. "Yuck! These are the worst pictures I've ever seen of myself." "No hon, they'll love you -- honestly."

There I was, in a huge photo album -- one among many. One face among thousands of blondes, brunettes, red heads, dark, light, bleach, asian -- everyone seemed to be in Hal's books. But, what would make me different? Why would I stand out? Beautiful girls everywhere, yet with Hal's help and encouragement, I was constantly getting calls day after day and job after job. Working with David Lynch, little parts in movies, lingerie ads, music videos -- on and on and on -- the list is endless.

I'll never forget the phone calls -- "Hi hon, it's Hal -- there's a producer here and he wants to book you."  No porn and he was proud of that fact (that would be XXX, for those who don't know) and always watching out for his girls' safety. That was Hal.

This was the beginning of my career -- these are memories that are untouchable, priceless, and gratitude that can't be matched. This is the person I have to thank -- sadly, I never had the chance because Hal's life ended Sunday -- with Max, his beautiful and long time companion...  He made dreams come true, built legends -- a simple non-pretentious man. I am left (as many others) with pain, sorrow, and feelings that can't be written about nor described.  It's hard to imagine Hal anywhere else, but still sitting behind his desk with Max and his photo albums and all his girls. Yep -- I bet he's in heaven -- writing it all down. Goodbye Hal -- thank you for everything -- I wouldn't be Ashley if I never met you.

Ashley Renee


I met Hal & Carole in the late '60s. Back then it was Carole Hal & Nick, but never mind Nick, he was just passing thru I guess.  I was young naive and tired of waitressing. Thank God I went to Hal's agency instead of some other. It was on Beverly Blvd then. I have many fond memories of days spent there. Carole had a Gibbon ape, Tyla? And one day even brought in a red fox, which we all ended up chasing down the middle of Beverly Blvd. Never a dull moment, and never a bad experience. Hal did a wonderful job of weeding out the questionable photographers and only sending us on shoots he knew were safe. I will remember him as one of the most honorable people I have ever met.

Bonnie Smith
Former Model




First posted 2/28/2000

Most recent  update 7/12/2006

Please email if you have any memories or statements to contribute about Hal.  Most of these memorial statements have been excerpted from email commentary that Hal's friends and affiliates have sent to me.  Some of these statements were read at Hal's memorial service.