Joy Todd, Casting Director for Sidney Lumet, Dies

Joy Todd Obit

Casting director Joy Todd, whose credits include Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in America,” “Demolition Man,” “Rambo III” and Sidney Lumet films including “Prince of the City” and “The Verdict,” died Feb. 18 of natural causes in San Diego.

Todd started out in Philadelphia as an actress and standup comedienne. She had small parts in shows including “Act I,” “Hello, Dolly” “Naked City” In Las Vegas, she was the comedy relief in a book show called “That Certain Girl,” with Walter Slezak, Virginia Mayo and Dennis O’Keefe, and she also worked in some night clubs on the Canadian border.

Shortly thereafter, Todd did her first casting work, for Marty Richards (now a Broadway and film producer), who needed help casting film extras in New York. She then assisted Ralph Serpe, exec producer for Dino De Laurentiis on “Mandingo,” in Louisiana.

She kept an office in New York from 1976-93. Her first big extra casting job was on the film “Network,” which began a long association with director Sidney Lumet, who gave Todd her first real break to do principal casting as well. Her credits on Lumet films included “Just Tell Me What You Want,” “Prince of the City,” “The Verdict,” “Garbo Talks,” “Q&A,” “A Stranger Among Us” and “Power.”

Other films Todd cast during her New York stay included “Moscow on the Hudson,” “Rambo III,” “Maria’s Lovers,” “Once Upon a Time in America,” “Street Smart,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Lock Up” and “Gettysburg,” working with directors including Sergio Leone, Ridley Scott and Paul Mazursky.

She moved to California in 1993 and thereafter cast “Demolition Man,” “The Next Karate Kid,” “Gods and Generals” and “Redline.” She had recently worked on the films “Pizza With Bullets” and “Guns Guitars and a Badge,” both due out this year.

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  1. david thoreau says:

    loved her.

  2. Dennis Ritz, Personal Manager says:

    Joy Todd, You will be missed. I first met Joy when she was still known as Joyce and am actress/comedian. A frequent performer at New York’s “Living
    Room” and known for her Danny Kaye-like fast patter songs. we met when
    she was acting in a book show at the Thunderbird Hotel in Las Vegas named, “That Certain Girl” with an all-star cast. She and the late (and fabulous Billie Bird) were telephone operators. Her casting career followed
    when she retired from Acting. She was loved by one and all who knew her. — Dennis Ritz, Personal Management

  3. This is so sad and shocking. I have talked to Joy many times, she will be missed greatly by many.

    Too many people I know as friends, co-workers and in my family have died within the last few weeks. I wish this would stop. Very depressing.

  4. I JUST WROTE A MESSAGE TO HER ON FACEBOOK ABOUT MY STORY AND KNEW SOMETHING WAS WRONG. SHE GAVE ME SO MANY COMPLIMENTS? I TOLD HERCWHAT A GREAT IMPACT SHE HAD ON ME . I PRAY SHE SAW THST MESSAGE BEFORE SHE DIED! JOY TODD WE LOVE AND MISS YOU! THE PLANET WILL NOT BE THE SAME WITHOUT YOU! LOVE YOU ALWAYS! CAROLINE SHANK!

  5. Julienne says:

    Joy was a wonderful…fair Casting Director. Always supportive and inspiring.

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