Mary Selway

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Mary Selway
Born March 14, 1936
Norwich, England
Died April 21, 2004
London, England
Nationality British
Occupation Casting director

Mary Selway (14 March 1936 – 21 April 2004) was a British casting director.


Selway was born in Norwich in 1936, daughter of a cinema manager and impresario,[1] and enrolled at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London at the age of 13 to study acting.[2] 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.[3] 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.[3] She was responsible for the casting of 104 films and gained a reputation for fairness, determination, charm, wisdom and irreverence.[4] Selway was always seeking new acting talent, watching films from all over the world and attending fringe theatre performances.[1] 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.[4] In the 2001 BAFTA Awards she won the Michael Balcon Award for outstanding British contribution to cinema.[5]

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."[4]

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.[6] Selway's death in 2004 is acknowledged by a memorium at the end credits of the movie Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film).

Films (selection)[edit]

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

Personal life[edit]

Selway was married to the actor Norman Rodway in 1966. 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.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Obituaries" Times [London, England] 4 May 2004: 26. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 June 2012
  2. ^ Mary Rourke (29 April 2004). "Mary Selway, casting chief for a host of Hollywood films". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2012-06-03. 
  3. ^ a b Roger Michell (2004-05-01). "Mary Selway". The Independent – Obituaries. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  4. ^ a b c "Muse – Gregson on Mary Selway". Glass Magazine. 2009-08-18. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  5. ^ "The Winners." Times [London, England] 26 Feb. 2001: 3. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 3 June 2012
  6. ^ "Background to the Orange Rising Star Award". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 

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