Mary Selway

Mary Selway (14 March 1936 – 21 April 2004)[1] was an English casting director.

Mary Selway
Born14 March 1936
Norwich, England
Died21 April 2004(2004-04-21) (aged 68)
London, England
OccupationCasting director


Selway was born in Norwich in 1936, daughter of a cinema manager and impresario,[2] and enrolled at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London at the age of 13 to study acting.[3] By 19 she had decided not to become an actress, and went to work as a production assistant at ITV before starting to work in casting, first under Miriam Brickman and then, from 1969, under Lindsay Anderson at the Royal Court Theatre in London.[4] By the age of 34 she had started casting films, which she continued for the rest of her life.


Selway worked with a number of renowned directors over three decades, including Steven Spielberg, Roman Polanski, Clint Eastwood, John Boorman, Sydney Pollack, Robert Altman, Michael Apted, Nicolas Roeg, Fred Schepisi, Fred Zinnemann and Ridley Scott.[4][5][6] She was responsible for the casting of 104 films and gained a reputation for fairness, determination, charm, wisdom and irreverence.[7] Selway was always seeking new acting talent, watching films from all over the world and attending fringe theatre performances.[2] She was also a tireless champion of new actors she discovered and nurtured. Unusually, she would stay in touch with the cast throughout the shooting process.[7] In the 2001 BAFTA Awards she won the Michael Balcon Award for outstanding British contribution to cinema.[8]

A biographical documentary entitled A Cast of Thousands: The Life of Mary Selway is being produced in celebration of her life. It is directed by Isabelle Gregson, who explained that it aims "in its own small way to give those who didn't have the pleasure of knowing her, a taste for her enormous contribution to Cinema through the eyes and words of those who knew and loved her."[7]

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Orange Rising Star Award for the best young actor is dedicated to the memory of Mary Selway.[9] Selway's death in 2004 is acknowledged by a memorium at the end credits of the movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Films (selection)Edit

She directed the casting of many well-known films, including:

Personal lifeEdit

Selway was married to the actor Norman Rodway in January 1966.[10] She had two daughters with her partner of nineteen years, the actor Keith Buckley: the agent Kate Buckley and the actress Emma Buckley. During her last fourteen years her partner was Ileen Maisel. Selway died of cancer in London, aged 68.[2]


  1. ^ Martin, Douglas (28 April 2004). "Mary Selway Is Dead at 68; Cast Actors for Top Directors". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  2. ^ a b c "Obituaries" Times [London, England] 4 May 2004: 26. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 June 2012
  3. ^ Mary Rourke (29 April 2004). "Mary Selway, casting chief for a host of Hollywood films". Boston Globe. Retrieved 3 June 2012.
  4. ^ a b Roger Michell (1 May 2004). "Mary Selway". The Independent – Obituaries. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
  5. ^ Rourke, Mary (29 April 2004). "Mary Selway, 68; Casting Agent on 'Gosford Park,' Other Hit Movies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  6. ^ Hare, David (25 April 2004). "Mary Selway". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  7. ^ a b c "Muse – Gregson on Mary Selway". Glass Magazine. 18 August 2009. Archived from the original on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
  8. ^ "The Winners." Times [London, England] 26 February 2001: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 June 2012
  9. ^ "Background to the Orange Rising Star Award". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. 5 January 2009. Archived from the original on 24 April 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2009.
  10. ^ "England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005". General Register Office; United Kingdom. p. 1951.

External linksEdit