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Vincent Liff

Casting directors

This article was corrected on Feb. 27, 2003.

Vincent Liff, one of Broadway’s top casting directors, died of brain cancer Tuesday Feb. 25 at his home in New York. He was 52.

The casting office of Johnson-Liff closed its doors in December 2002 after nearly 30 years in the legit business. Liff, together with Geoffrey Johnson, cast more than 60 Broadway shows and several touring companies.

Their office dominated the musical field in the 1980s and early 1990s, having handled “Cats,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Miserables” and “Miss Saigon.”

Their first big tuner was “The Wiz” in 1975, followed by “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” and “Dreamgirls.” In addition to musicals, they cast several plays including “Night and Day,” “Indiscretions,” “The Elephant Man, “Morning’s at Seven,” “Amadeus” and “The Dresser.” “Contact” and “The Producers” were the office’s last major assignments.

Liff was the nephew of the legendary agent Biff Liff of William Morris. It was through his uncle, then working as associate producer for David Merrick, that he met Johnson, a Merrick stage manager. Later, Liff and Johnson worked together for Otto & Windsor casting agency.

In time, they opened their own firm — and hired Scott Rudin to be their first receptionist.

In addition to Biff Liff, Vincent Liff is survived by his partner, Ken Yung, his father, George Liff, his brother, Steven Liff, and his sister, Martha Liff Smith.

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