Mary Selway, a British casting director who worked on dozens of box office hits, died on April 21 of cancer. She was 68.
Born in Norwich, England, Selway studied acting at the Italia Conti theater school in London. After realizing her shyness would be an impediment to a successful dramatic career, she found work in her 20s as a casting director for television and theatre.
In 1969, Selway began casting actors into films. She became known as the “grand dame of British casting agents” for working with many top American and European directors, including Robert Altman, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Neil LaBute, Roman Polanski, Sydney Pollack, Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg.
Selway cast almost 100 movies during her three-decade career. She chose the residents of “Notting Hill” and the servants working in “Gosford Park.” She cast the crew of the Napoleonic-era warship for “Master and Commander” and the occupants of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” which is scheduled for release in 2005.
Selway also produced “A Dry White Season” and the 1992 adaptation of “Wuthering Heights.” For her outstanding contribution to British film, she received the Michael Balcon Award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 1999.