Obituary: Penny Tackaberry

Penelope Holt, dramatic and literary agent: born London 9 September 1946; agent, Tessa Sayle Agency 1980-92, partner 1992-1994; married 1965 John Tackaberry (two sons); died London 7 May 1994.

I FIRST met Penny Tackaberry a long time ago, when my agent Tessa Sayle invited her to join the agency, writes Shelagh Delaney. Tessa put her in charge of the theatre, film and television section and gave her six months to make something of it.

Being part of Penny's evolution as an agent was the best fun imaginable. She proved her worth well within the six months and in the course of the next 14 years turned what had been a lacklustre department into a shining independent force to be reckoned with, and very much respected in the profession. She was rightly proud of her achievement. Her greatest pleasure was to ring her clients, who inevitably became her friends, to let them know that the cheques really were in the post: her pleasure in sending out those cheques was only marginally less than the pleasure taken in receiving them. When Tessa Sayle died last year Penny, in partnership with Rachel Calder, took over the agency.

Penny's capacity for getting as much delight out of a freezing cold walk along Bridlington beach as she did out of rowing her friends up and down the Serpentine, in Hyde Park, breakfasting in the best hotel in Los Angeles or dancing until dawn in a sleazy New York night club, not only made her the perfect companion, it made you feel that you were the perfect companion too.

(Photograph omitted)

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