Talent Manager Joan Sittenfield Dies at 66

Joan Sittnefield - Publicity - P 2016
Lesley Bohm

Joan Sittnefield - Publicity - P 2016

Earlier, she was a producer, an executive at Universal Television and a casting director on 'Taxi' and 'The Jeffersons.'

Joan Sittenfield, a talent manager, producer and former casting director, died Sunday in Los Angeles after a five-year battle with cancer, her friend Darlene Kaplan said. She was 66.

The current roster of actors at Joan Sittenfield Management include two-time Tony and Emmy winner Judd Hirsch, Tony nominees Charlotte D'Amboise and Stephen Bogardus, Bernardo de Paula (Shameless) and James Hiroyuki Liao (Unforgettable).

In the 1980s, Sittenfield worked as casting director on ABC's Taxi (starring Hirsch) and CBS' The Jeffersons and then spent nine years as senior vp talent and casting for Universal Television, where she oversaw and was involved in the talent packaging and casting of more than 20 series and 100 pilots.

Among the series for which she assembled regular castmembers were Law & Order, Northern Exposure, Quantum Leap and Coach, and she helped give early acting jobs to Sandra Bullock, Julianna Margulies, Catherine Keener, Patricia Clarkson, Eriq La Salle and Ving Rhames

Upon leaving Universal, Sittenfield formed J&J Productions with Jeni Munn. Their company put several movie of the week projects into development, including On the Edge of Innocence for NBC and Goldrush: A Real Life Alaskan Adventure, starring Alyssa Milano, for ABC. It also developed original MOW scripts with Orly Adelson Productions, Hearst Entertainment and others.   

In 1998, Sittenfield added her boutique-style management division to her production company.

She began her entertainment career as an actress and dancer. Sittenfield received her master’s in theater from USC, then spent six years as a guest artist in residence, teaching at Michigan State, Cal State Sacramento, USC, Cornell and Arizona State. She also worked as an acting coach, theater director and choreographer.

Sittenfield was a co-author of 1997's How Many Men Does It Take to Screw in a Lightbulb?… None, The Modern Woman’s Guide to Home Repairs and the author of 2013's Ready? … Set? … Act!