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Mary Selway.

Mary Selway, widely recognized as Britain's top casting director, died April 21 in London after a long battle with cancel: She was 68.

In 2001, her influence was acknowledged by the British Academy of Film & TV Arts, which awarded her the Michael Balcon award for outstanding contribution to British film. She was previously honored in 1999 with the Women in Film award for outstanding creativity.

She was working right up to the end on "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" and "The Libertine."

Indeed, in the past couple of years, under the shadow of recurring illness, she had been busier than ever casting a range of movies including "Love Actually," "Master and Commander, "Thunderbirds," "Vanity Fair" and "Beyond the Sea."

For nearly four decades, she worked on more than 100 films, with a who's who of directors including Steven Spielberg, Roman Polanski, Robert Altman, Ridley Scott, John Boorman, Nic Roeg, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, John Madden, Michael Apted, Blake Edwards, Fred Schepisi, Sydney Pollack, David Hare, Bertrand Tavernier, Liliana Cavani, Neil LaBute, Fred Zinneman and Bruce Robinson.

Born in Norwich, England, Selway enrolled at 13 at the Italia Conti stage school, in defiance of her father's wishes that she should continue her academic studies. But she soon discovered she was too shy to be an actress. After doing some modeling, she became a production assistant on TV variety shows.

After spending her 20s working in TV and theater, she got a job with Miriam Brickman, the leading casting agent of her time. As well as casting movies from "Tess," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Out of Africa" to "Gorillas in the Mist," "Emma" and "Captain Corelli's Mandolin," she was associate producer of "Dry White Season" and producer of "Wuthering Heights."

She is survived by two daughters and partner Ileen Maisel.

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Title Annotation:Casting Directors
Author:Dawtrey, Adam
Publication:Variety
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 3, 2004
Words:302
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