Recently we lost one of the renowned faces of Hollywood, Mike Fenton was one of the iconic and influential Casting Director of the American Cinema. Ronald Michael Feinstein was born in Los Angeles on Jan. 29, 1935, and raised in Beverly Hills.
He is responsible for delivering perfect faces for legendary movies like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Godfather: Part II, E.T. — The Extraterrestrial, and the three Back to the Future movies.
The founder of CSA was worth millions!
According to sources, Mike Fenton had a net worth of $1.3million at the time of his death. He has also worked as a producer but most of his earnings is through his casting profession.
In 1982 Mike founded the so-called Casting Society of America (CSA) and later became its president. For decades he has been a constant and hardworking contributor to the American movie buzz. Through his casting career, he managed to built him an impressive fortune.
Casting Director of E.T. dies at 85
The infamous Hollywood Casting Director Mike Fenton recently dies at 85. He has worked in blockbuster movies like 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. He contributed as a casting director for more than four decades and has a long resume that stretched from ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ and ‘That Girl’ to ‘Chinatown,’ ‘American Graffiti,’ ‘The Godfather II,’ ‘Blade Runner,’ ‘A Christmas Story,’ ‘Norma Rae,’ ‘Footloose,’ ‘Honeymoon in Vegas’ and ‘Chaplin.’
The Oscar-winning filmmaker, Spielberg who had worked with Fenton said on his behalf and remembered working with him “was like working in a candy store–he made casting a blast.”
They both worked together on his first feature, The Sugarland Express, as well as on such blockbusters as E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Spielberg added that Fenton’s “fervent support of actors was the stuff of legend. He didn’t just support actors, he launched crusades. I will miss him dearly.” He added “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 helped me get over every moment of indecision when I had three good options and couldn’t choose. He was as responsible for some actors getting their big breaks in my films as me.”
According to sources in a 2019 interview with Fenton, he revealed insights of his career and said,
“a casting director puts together the psychological and the physical attributes of the person you’re casting. Who best can play that part? As a casting director, do you cast that person because of the look, or do you cast it because of their ability? … That’s the art of casting.”
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