Mike Fenton, Famed Casting Director on ‘Back to the Future,’ ‘E.T.’ and Many Other Movies, Dies at 85

Mike Fenton, the legendary casting director who worked on the “Back to the Future” franchise, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and scores of other classic movies and TV shows, has died. He was 85.

Fenton co-founded what is now known as Casting Society of America in 1982. He was a prominent casting director for more than 40 years, with a mile-long resume that stretched from “The Andy Griffith Show” and “That Girl” to “American Graffiti,” “Blade Runner,” “Norma Rae,” “Footloose” and “Honeymoon in Vegas.”

“Working with Mike Fenton was like working in a candy store — he made casting a blast,” Steven Spielberg said in a statement. “His fervent support of actors was the stuff of legend, and after landing a part, any actor’s smile was rarely as wide as Mike’s. He didn’t just support actors, he launched crusades. And he was a pretty good actor himself, as he would always read off-camera dialogue to create energy and mojo for the person reading for the part.  Much like the actors for whom he advocated, Mike loved his role — and those around him loved him so much, and I will miss him dearly.”

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