Beverly McDermott, Veteran Casting Director, Dies at 83

Based in South Florida, she worked on such films as "Lenny," "Black Sunday" and such TV shows as "Miami Vice" and "B.L. Stryker."

Beverly McDermott, a prominent casting director who worked on such films and TV shows as six-time Oscar nominee Lenny, both Cocoon movies and Miami Vice during her 40-year career, died Jan. 19 of natural causes at a hospice in Hollywood, Fla. She was 83.

McDermott cast more than 250 movies, TV series, music videos and documentaries, many of them originating from South Florida. She cast The Jackie Gleason Show when it was taped in Miami Beach from 1966-70 and worked for years with Burt Reynolds, casting his 1985 film Stick and his 1989-90 ABC series B.L. Stryker, filmed in Palm Beach.

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Other credits included Tony Rome (1967), Airport ’77 (1977), Black Sunday (1977), Absence of Malice (1981) and Scarface (1983).

McDermott and her husband Jack also were active in the world of music. They discovered Freddy Cannon, whose hits included “Tallahassee Lassie,” released in 1959; helped set up a Judy Garland performance at the Miami Beach Convention Center in the 1960s; and produced singer Connie Francis’ comeback show at the Diplomat Hotel in 1989.

Earlier, McDermott performed as a champion horse rider with the likes of Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and Arthur Godfrey.

In addition to her husband, McDermott is survived by her son Richard, daughter Cheryl, brother Paul, sister Eileen and three grandchildren. A memorial service is set for Jan. 28 at Landmark Funeral Home in Hollywood, Fla.