Beverlee Dean, Manager and Casting Executive, Dies at 79

Courtesy of The John Kirby Studio
Beverlee Dean

She discovered Jim Caviezel and Reese Witherspoon.

Beverlee Dean, a manager and casting executive who discovered and then helped guide the careers of Jim Caviezel and Reese Witherspoon, has died. She was 79.

Dean died Nov. 21 in Tarzana after a long battle with dementia, acting coach John Kirby announced.

In 1990, Dean and Shari Rhodes cast the Robert Mulligan film The Man in the Moon, which marked the onscreen debut of Witherspoon, whom Dean had discovered at age 13 and then managed.

Dean also discovered the twin brothers Jeremy London (Party of Five) and Jason London (Dazed and Confused) that year; the latter also appeared in The Man in the Moon.

She also cast the child actors in Sarah, Plain and Tall (1991), starring Glenn Close and Christopher Walken.

Dean discovered Caviezel and served as his manager for more than a decade. "It was like a mother-son thing. She never gave up on me, she always believed in me," he said on an episode of the Speed Channel series Payback.

Dean also discovered Kevin Sorbo and was a producer on his 1997 film Kull the Conqueror.

A native of Milwaukee whose dad owned a bowling alley, Dean wanted to become a nun. In the 1960s, she worked at an LSD rescue center in Chicago and raised funds to launch the St. Anthony Hope Without Dope center in Colorado.

"The first thing she ever said to me when I met with her was, 'If you ever do drugs, you're gone,'" Caviezel said.

After she appeared on the Jan Murray game show Charge Account, Dean came to Hollywood with the goal of creating her own game show and got a couple to the pilot stage.

Survivors include her son Thomas, a marketing executive in Dubai.

A memorial service is set for 1:30 p.m. Friday at St. Monica Catholic Church in Santa Monica. For questions about the service, please email beverleedeanmemorial@gmail.com.

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