Bernie Styles, a prominent extras casting director in the New York film industry, died on Wednesday at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., from natural causes. He was 99.
Styles was born in 1918 in New York City, and spent the majority of his career working in the city for such filmmakers as Howard W. Koch, Arthur Hiller, Woody Allen, Norman Lear, Bobby Greenhut, Francis Ford Coppola, William Friedkin, and others.
Styles began his career pursuing acting in the 1960s, and worked in nightclubs and restaurants to support his aspirations. He eventually began his extras casting career with Koch on the 1962 film “The Manchurian Candidate.” His last casting job was working with Koch’s son, Hawk Koch, on 1993’s “Silver.”
“Bernie was a real Damon Runyon character,” Hawk said. “He wasn’t just the extras casting director. When and if you needed help with anything or anybody in the Apple, Bernie could and would make it happen. His knowledge and passion for movies was unparalleled.”
Funeral services will be held at Desert Memorial Park cemetery in Cathedral City, Calif., on Monday at 10:30 a.m.