Amanda Mackey, the esteemed casting director who worked on films such as The Fugitive and A League of Their Own, died in her sleep on Aug. 27. She was 70.
Mackey had been battling myelodysplastic syndrome, a form of blood cancer, at NYU Langone Hospital in Brooklyn. She spent nearly four decades working in Hollywood, earning an Emmy nomination for Ryan Murphy‘s acclaimed HBO movie The Normal Heart.
Born and raised in New York City, Mackey grew up loving performance, so after spending a semester studying at the Sorbonne, she began her career in showbiz as an agent at J. Michael Bloom. It wasn’t long before she pivoted into a career in casting, working with legendary casting director Marion Dougherty.
In the mid-’80s, Mackey moved to Los Angeles and launched the Mackey Sandrich Casting Company with Cathy Sandrich Gelfond. By the mid-’90s, it had become the first independent bicoastal casting company.
Sandrich Gelfond called Mackey “a singular force” and credited her longtime friend and business partner with changing her life. “She believed in me, lifted me up, and gave me a career,” Sandrich Gelfond told Deadline.
Mackey was nominated for 15 Artios Awards by the Casting Society of America over the course of her career, winning for A League of Their Own (1993) and Smokin’ Aces (2006). In addition to The Fugitive (a Best Picture nominee) and its sequel, U.S. Marshals, her feature credits include Rocky IV, The Hunt for Red October, The Cooler, The Proposal, United 93, Sleepy Hollow, and While You Were Sleeping, among others.
“We are heartbroken to hear about the passing of Casting Director Amanda Mackey. She was an inspiration to many in our field and everyone at CSA sends our condolences to her family and friends,” read a statement from the Casting Society.
In addition to casting A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, which featured one of Channing Tatum‘s earliest and most dynamic screen performances, she also served as an executive producer on that film, which won a jury prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival for its ensemble cast. Meanwhile, on the TV side, Mackey worked on A Million Little Things, Claws, Hell on Wheels, Magic City, and Low Winter Sun.
Mackey is survived by her daughters, Nicola Mackey Johnson and Emma Sophia Johnson, who told Deadline that their mother “taught us to be strong feminists and truth seekers.”