A TV Pioneer and Behind-the-Scenes Legend Dies — She Gave Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Christopher Walken and Countless Others Their First Breaks

Dec 6, 2011  •  Post A Comment

The woman credited with giving countless TV and movie icons their first breaks has died, Deadline.com reports. Veteran casting director Marion Dougherty died Sunday, Dec. 4, of natural causes at 88, the story reports.

Dougherty was a television pioneer, starting in the business in the late 1940s and working on important early series such as “Kraft Television Theater,” “Naked City” and “Route 66” before making a mark in film casting.

Among the many actors who got their breaks being cast by Dougherty are Al Pacino, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Robert Redford, Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, Ed Asner, Anne Bancroft, Bette Midler and Christopher Walken.

The story reports: “She eventually moved into film casting, where she revolutionized the process by moving away from type-casting and toward character and individuality. Her movie credits include casting Pacino in ‘Panic in Needle Park,’ Redford in ‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,’ Voight and Hoffman in ‘Midnight Cowboy,’ as well as ‘The Owl and the Pussycat,’ ‘Slaughterhouse-Five,’ ‘The Paper Chase,’ ‘Lenny,’ ‘The Day of the Locust,’ ‘The World According to Garp,’ ‘Full Metal Jacket,’ Tim Burton’s ‘Batman,’ and the four ‘Lethal Weapon’ movies.”

After running her own New York-based casting firm for years, Dougherty relocated to the West Coast and in 1979 became head of casting for Warner Bros. She reportedly suggested Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton to “All in the Family” creator Norman Lear, and is credited with discovering Glenn Close, Diane Lane, Danny Glover, Brooke Shields, Debra Winger and others during this period.


Marion Dougherty

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