Former William Morris agent Sue Mengers, who pioneered behind-the-scenes roles for women in Hollywood, died at her home in Beverly Hills Saturday.

The news was first reported by Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, who blogged Sunday that Mengers died from a series of small strokes, surrounded by close friends Ali MacGraw, Joanna Poitier, and Boaty Boatwright.

Mengers -- who kept her real age secret, although she was widely believed to be around 80 -- was one of Hollywood's most powerful agents in the 1970s, rising to the level of senior VP of the then-William Morris Agency, in charge of its motion picture and literary division.

Her clients included Barbra Streisand, Michael Caine, Ryan O'Neal, Faye Dunaway, Gen Hackman, Cher, Joan Collins, Burt Reynolds and Nick Nolte.

Mengers also repped powerful directors like Sidney Lumet, Brian De Palma, Bob Fosse, Mike Nichols and Peter Bogdanovich.

She was a girlish 70-plus, who never looked her age -- and with an ever-present joint in her hand, she didn't act it either, Carter blogged. Sue was a Holocaust baby, arriving in upstate New York before America entered the war. Nobody in her family spoke English, and like so many immigrants, she set her sites on a career in show business.

Carter added: She loved movie stars -- she called them 'sparklies' ... This was why she came to California. And it's what made her such an integral part of the movie community, if you can still call it that. Sue always wanted to call the autobiography she never wrote, 'When I was Alive.' Like the great character that she was, that marvelous, never-written book went with her.