They don’t hand out Oscars to every casting director, the person who puts pictures and names in front of filmmakers to give them ideas of how to turn their scripted characters into flesh and blood actors.
Lynn Stalmaster, “The Master Caster,” the most famous person ever to do this job, got one. The guy who cast “Superman,” “Tootsie,” “In the Heat of the Night” and scores of iconic films, has died. He was 93.
Look at that list of credits. Got to meet him once, as a cub reporter, and he pointed out the obvious — that no, he didn’t put Brando in “Superman” or Michelle in “To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday.” Stars are typically brainstormed by writers, directors and producers.
Casting directors can join in on that brainstorming and have a ready supply of ideas and glossy photos (back then) to show to filmmakers as suggestions that they’ve gleaned from reading the script.
And everybody who isn’t Dustin Hoffman or Pollack on “Tootsie” — maybe even Jessica Lange — came out of Stalmaster’s suggestions, arranged auditions and the like.