Eddie Foy III, Veteran Television Casting Director, Dies at 83

Courtesy Saltzman Communications
Eddie Foy III

The son and grandson of actors, he was instrumental to the success of such series as 'Gidget,' 'I Dream of Jeannie' and 'That Girl.'

Eddie Foy III, a veteran casting director for television who helped bring Barbara Eden to I Dream of Jeannie and Sally Field to Gidget, has died. He was 83.

Foy died Saturday at his home in Denison, Iowa, of injuries sustained in a fall, publicist Michael Saltzman announced.

Foy's father was actor Eddie Foy Jr., and his grandfather was Eddie Foy Sr. of the famed vaudeville act The Seven Little Foys. (His dad portrayed his granddad in the 1942 James Cagney classic Yankee Doodle Dandy.)

Foy spent more than four decades in casting, starting out at Screen Gems and 20th Century Fox. He was named director of casting at ABC in 1976 and then served as a vice president at NBC.

He later worked for Dick Clark Productions and was a long-standing independent casting director and talent executive for the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon.

Foy helped put together the band (Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork and Davy Jones) for The Monkees and worked on other series including The Donna Reed Show, Naked City, Dennis the Menace, Route 66, Julia, Room 222, That Girl, Soap, Hill Street Blues, Charlie's Angels, Mork & Mindy, Happy Days and Barney Miller.

Foy also helped cast such films as Planet of the Apes (1968), The Great White Hope (1970) and the blaxploitation pics Trouble Man (1972) and Together Brothers (1974).

Asked in a 2003 interview for the website The Interviews: An Oral History of Television what advice he would give to new casting directors, he replied: "Go read a little book called The Complete Works of Shakespeare. Find out about Noel Coward, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe and Edward Albee. Find out why Spencer Tracy and Miss [Katharine] Hepburn never took their clothes off and left their love to be your fantasy."

The New York City native also did some acting, appearing in Run Silent Run Deep (1958), and served as an associate producer on That Girl during its third season in 1968-69.

In 1959, Foy served as the cut man for featherweight boxing champion Davey Moore. He was on the board of the World Boxing Hall of Fame.

Foy was honored by the TV Academy for his contributions to the advancement of television casting.

Survivors include his wife of 23 years, Jan; daughter Dina and her husband Scott; stepchildren Tim and Laura; and grandchildren Faith and Jeziah.

Life celebrations are set for 1 p.m. on Saturday at Corona Friends Church in Corona, California, and at 7 p.m. on Monday at the DGA in Los Angeles.