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Tony-winning casting director Geoffrey Johnson died Friday at the age of 91.
Johnson died in his sleep of respiratory failure at the Henry J. Carter Specialty Hospital in New York, his rep said.
With his business partner Vincent Liff, Johnson helped cast long-running Broadway shows Cats, Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera. The casting firm they co-founded, Johnson-Liff, also cast Broadway shows such as The Elephant Man, Dreamgirls, Miss Saigon and Kiss of the Spiderwoman.
Johnson and Liff were given a Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre in 2003, also receiving the Hoyt Bowers Award and Artios awards from the Casting Society of America.
Born in New York City on June 23, 1930, to a high-school teacher and obstetrician, Johnson was raised in Larchmont, New York.
After he earned a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, Johnson spent some time as an actor, appearing in Saint Joan on Broadway in 1956, and worked as a stage manager on several Broadway shows. He ultimately met Noël Coward, working with him on the Broadway production of Sail Away. Johnson served as Coward’s U.S. rep until Coward’s death in 1973.
After Johnson-Liff closed in 2002, Johnson served on the Tony nomination committee for several years and was a trustee of the Noël Coward Foundation and president of Coward’s archive trust. He established a scholarship in Coward’s name at the Yale School of Drama in 2016.
Johnson was predeceased by his longtime partner Jerry Hogan, who founded talent agency Henderson-Hogan. He is survived by his niece Valerie Cortalano, nephew Bruce Johnson and numerous great nephews and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Noël Coward Foundation, Calvary Hospital and The Actors Fund.
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