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Anthony Barnao, a casting director, theatrical producer and acting teacher, died Sept. 11 in Smithtown, New York, publicist Ken Werther announced. He was 65.
The cause of death was brain cancer.
As director of casting for movies and miniseries at CBS, Barnao worked on pilots, series and telefilms including Face of a Stranger (1991) starring Gena Rowlands and Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story (1997).
His Barnao Co. cast four seasons of NBC’s Profiler (1996-2000) and the cult classic Re-Animator (1985), and, with Reuben Canon, the inaugural season of the La Jolla Playhouse for Des McAnuff that included Tony winner Big River.
He also taught acting in a private class and as an adjunct professor at Emerson College and Azusa Pacific.
Barnao graduated from SUNY Fredonia and studied in New York under famed Panamanian theater director Jose Quintero. He came to Los Angeles and spent four years as a theatrical agent, helping teenager Rob Lowe earn his SAG card.
Barnao founded and spent 10 seasons as producing artistic director for Los Angeles’ Blue Sphere Alliance Theatre Company, for whom he directed the premiere of the Ovation Award-winning musical The Big Voice. He also was a founding member and trustee of the Immediate Theater in L.A.
Survivors include his sister, Maria, and nieces Elizabeth and Kristen.
A memorial service will be held at noon on Oct. 20 at The Federal NoHo on Lankershim Boulevard in North Hollywood.
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