In a 52-year show-business career, Mr. Brillstein (a New York University graduate with an advertising degree) represented entertainers who ranged from the stand-up comedian Norm Crosby and the singer Frankie Laine to a later generation of comic rebels that included John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Lorne Michaels, Martin Short and others.
Beginning in 1985, Mr. Brillstein worked closely with Brad Grey, a protégé who is now chairman of the Paramount Motion Picture Group.
A garrulous raconteur, Mr. Brillstein told of his triumphs, self-doubts and industry feuds in an unabashed memoir, “Where Did I Go Right?: You’re No One in Hollywood Unless Someone Wants You Dead.”
Mr. Brillstein counted the puppeteer Jim Henson among his closest friends, and helped to turn Mr. Henson’s Muppets into a cultural presence, through “Sesame Street,” and into a thriving industry, through the syndicated “Muppet Show,” movies and myriad products based on the characters.
Through his association with Mr. Michaels, the writer-producer behind “Saturday Night Live,” and many of its comic stars, Mr. Brillstein helped to broker a transition that took television comedy into a hipper, more daring zone from which it never retreated.