Beverly McDermott dies at 83

Florida casting director cast films, TV shows

Beverly McDermott, a casting director for movies and television for more than four decades and a producer of musicvideos and documentaries, died Jan. 19 in Hollywood, Fla. She was 83.

McDermott cast films including Bob Fosse’s “Lenny,” “Airport ’77” and both of the “Cocoon” pics, and for TV, she did the local Miami casting for the pilot to Michael Mann’s “Miami Vice” series.

She also did location casting in Florida for John Frankenheimer thriller “Black Sunday,” Burt Reynolds’ 1985 directorial effort “Stick” and the 1989-90 Reynolds TV series “B.L. Stryker.”

McDermott was nominated for the Casting Society of America’s Artios Award for her work casting “Cocoon” and its sequel.

She made her (uncredited) debut as a casting director on the 1967 detective film “Tony Rome,” starring Frank Sinatra and shot in Miami.

Other credits as casting director include 1977’s “The Greatest,” starring Muhammad Ali; the Spanish film “Miss Caribe”; and the Italian actioner “Hammerhead.”

She last served as casting director on the 2005 film “Hitters Anonymous,” on which she was also an associate producer.

McDermott had been a talent agent in Florida before entering the casting biz relatively late in life. Earlier, she was a manager and booking agent for a nightclub near Boston. Also during the 1950s she discovered singer Freddy Cannon. She and her husband, Jack, managed Cannon as well as Boston rock group the G-Cleffs. She co-produced Judy Garland’s appearance at the Miami Beach Convention Center and later produced the comeback performance of Connie Francis in 1989.

McDermott also served as first VP of Women of the Motion Picture Industry (WOMPI).

She is survived by her husband; a son and a daughter; a brother; and a sister.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Jan. 28, at 2 p.m. at Landmark Funeral Home in Hollywood, Fla.

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