Casting director, doc producer/director
Casting director and doc producer/director Linda Otto died of cancer on June 27 in Los Angeles. She was 64.Born in New York, she began her career in the David Merrick office, moving up to become a Broadway casting director. Her credits include “Hair,” “That Championship Season,” “Cactus Flower,” Woody Allen’s “Don’t Drink the Water,” Neil Simon’s “The Prisoner of Second Avenue” and the “Ginger Bread Lady.” In 1974 she moved to Los Angeles where she cast “Mary Tyler Moore,” “Rhoda,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “Soap.” She married production company founder Alan Landsburg in 1976. While working with the Landsburg Company, Otto worked as a producer and director of movies and documentaries. Her documentary productions focused on subjects such as teen-age suicide (“Shattered Silence”), battered women (“Prisoners of Wedlock”), and children caught in the turmoil of divorce (‘Switching Parents”). Docudrama “Adam” prompted the formation of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and “The Ryan White Story” provided a platform for tolerance of children afflicted by innocently contracted AIDS. Her other credits include “A Mother’s Right: The Elizabeth Morgan Story,” “Unspeakable Acts” and HBO documentary “Living Dolls, the Making of a Child Beauty Queen.” After being diagnosed with breast cancer, she produced docu “Destined to Live” about herself and other cancer survivors. Her own bout with scleroderma led her to take an activist role as a Board Member of American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, and she was founding president of children’s org Find the Children.In addition to her husband, she is survived by daughters Valerie, an actress/director/writer; Shana, a casting director; Michael, a key grip and seven grandchildren.