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Mike Fenton, the casting director behind a few of Hollywood’s most beloved movies together with the “Again to the Future” films, “Raiders of the Misplaced Ark,” “E.T.: The Further-Terrestrial” and “The Godfather Half II,” has died at age 85.
Fenton racked up a formidable resume casting film and TV tasks for greater than 50 years, turned a frequent collaborator with filmmakers together with Steven Spielberg, and co-founded the Casting Society of America in 1982.
“His exceptional accomplishments and his unbelievable work in elevating the notice and appreciation of the craft of casting defines his legacy within the leisure business,” CSA co-presidents Russell Boast and Wealthy Mento mentioned in a press release.
Fenton’s son Mick instructed The Hollywood Reporter that he died Wednesday of pure causes at his Los Angeles house.
An LA native, Fenton labored on many Spielberg productions in his profession, together with the filmmaker’s 1974 function debut “The Sugarland Specific,” the primary three Indiana Jones films, “Poltergeist,” “The Goonies,” “E.T.,” the “Again to the Future” trilogy and his “Wonderful Tales” TV present.
“Working with Mike Fenton was like working in a sweet retailer — he made casting a blast,” Spielberg mentioned in a press release via his Amblin Leisure manufacturing firm. “His fervent assist of actors was the stuff of legend, and after touchdown an element, any actor’s smile was not often as huge as Mike’s. He didn’t simply assist actors, he launched crusades. And he was a fairly good actor himself, as he would all the time learn off-camera dialogue to create vitality and mojo for the individual studying for the half.
“Very similar to the actors for whom he advocated, Mike liked his function — and people round him liked him a lot, and I’ll miss him dearly.”
Fenton additionally labored on such movies within the 1970s and ’80s as “American Graffiti,” “Chinatown,” “Younger Frankenstein,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “The Dangerous Information Bears,” “Aliens,” “Blade Runner,” “A Christmas Story” and “Footloose.”
Director Joe Dante paid tribute on Twitter Friday, calling Fenton “top-of-the-line casting administrators within the enterprise” after collaborating with him on “Twilight Zone: The Film,” “Innerspace,” “The Burbs” and the HBO TV film “The Second Civil Battle.” ” I by no means met anybody who liked their work extra.”
Fenton attended UCLA movie faculty within the 1950s eager to be a director however ended up working first within the mailroom after which as a expertise agent at MCA earlier than signing on as a casting director with Paramount in 1963.
“Casting turned out to be a pleasure,” Fenton mentioned in a CSA dialog final 12 months. “One places collectively the psychological and the bodily attributes of the individual you are casting. Who greatest can play that half? And as a casting director, do you forged that half … due to the look or do you forged it based mostly on their potential? It is all the time a problem for the casting director. That is the artwork of casting.”