Pam Polifroni

Casting Director


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her two-hour interview, Pam Polifroni talks about her early life, and her first job in casting on The Loretta Young Show. She talked about her time at Selmur Productions where she cast General Hospital and Day in Court. She describes her years working on Gunsmoke, and casting guest-stars including Bette Davis, Jon Voight, and Jodie Foster. She discusses her own casting process, as well as working with agents and dealing with budgets. Polifroni outlines casting several other projects, including the third pilot for All in the Family, The Waltons, The Love Boat, Hotel, and Santa Barbara. She speaks of what she feels are the qualities a good casting director needs, and concludes with advice to aspiring casting directors. Jim Colucci conducted the interview on April 13, 2018 in San Marcos, CA.

"If I felt there was an actor that might be right for a certain part, I would have them read a script in front of me, and I would get a certain feeling. Casting is a lot different now. A lot of parts get cast without the casting people ever meeting the actor."

Highlights
Pam Polifroni on casting General Hospital when it first went on the air in 1963
03:46
Pam Polifroni on casting Bette Davis in a guest-starring role on Gunsmoke
02:30
Pam Polifroni on casting the third pilot for All in the Family, and on working with Norman Lear
10:51
Pam Polifroni on her casting process and on the importance of casting
06:29
Pam Polifroni on casting for Disney feature films
04:36
Pam Polifroni on her advice to an aspiring casting director, and on how she would like to be remembered
02:21
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on her first television job, on The Loretta Young Show and on the Hollywood Blacklist; on going to work for Selmur Productions
14:06
On casting Day in Court, and on the process of casting in those days; on casting General Hospital when it first went on the air in 1963; on casting The Young Marrieds and Alexander the Great
09:08
On casting Gunsmoke, and on working with Ethel Winant at CBS; on working with show producer John Mantley; on working with James Arness as "Matt Dillon" and Amanda Blake as "Miss Kitty" on Gunsmoke
07:56
On casting various roles on Gunsmoke; on casting various guest-stars on Gunsmoke, including Bette Davis, Jon Voight, Cicely Tyson, and Ron Howard; on the success of Gunsmoke, and on casting How the West was Won
14:27
On casting the Gunsmoke reunion movies, and on the legacy of the show; on working with Sherwood Schwartz on Gilligan's Island and It's About Time; on her casting process and on the importance of casting
12:00

Chapter 2

On her casting process and on diversity in casting; on working with agents and managers as a casting director; on working with budgets as a casting director
07:56
On casting Hawaii Five-O; on casting the third pilot for All in the Family, and on working with Norman Lear
15:11
On casting The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, the television movie that led to The Waltons; on casting The Waltons
20:05
On casting the television movie The Migrants and the pilot Three for the Road; on casting Eight is Enough, The Love Boat, Hotel, and MacGyver
10:41
On casting Santa Barbara, and on the process of casting a daytime drama; on casting for Disney feature films; on the qualities a casting director needs
10:14
On how casting has changed since she started; on mentors in her career; on her advice to an aspiring casting director, and on how she would like to be remembered
04:34
Shows

All in the Family

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Pam Polifroni on casting the third pilot for All in the Family, and on working with Norman Lear
10:51

Day in Court

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Pam Polifroni on casting Day in Court, and on the process of casting in those days
03:49

Eight Is Enough

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Pam Polifroni on casting Eight is Enough
04:22

General Hospital

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Pam Polifroni on casting General Hospital when it first went on the air in 1963
03:46

Gunsmoke

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Pam Polifroni on casting Gunsmoke, and on working with Ethel Winant at CBS
03:35
Pam Polifroni on the challenge of casting Gunsmoke, and on working with show producer John Mantley
03:00
Pam Polifroni on working with James Arness as "Matt Dillon" and Amanda Blake as "Miss Kitty" on Gunsmoke
01:21
Pam Polifroni on casting various roles on Gunsmoke
02:33
Pam Polifroni on casting Bette Davis in a guest-starring role on Gunsmoke
02:30
Pam Polifroni on casting Jon Voight in a guest-starring role on Gunsmoke
02:57
Pam Polifroni on casting Jodie Foster in a guest-starring role on Gunsmoke
01:10
Pam Polifroni on Bruce Boxleitner, Cicely Tyson, and Clint and Ron Howard appearing on Gunsmoke
02:51
Pam Polifroni on the success of Gunsmoke, and on casting How the West was Won
02:26
Pam Polifroni on casting the Gunsmoke reunion movies, and on the legacy of the show
02:47

Hawaii Five-O

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Pam Polifroni on casting Hawaii Five-O
04:20

Homecoming, The: A Christmas Story

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Pam Polifroni on casting The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, the television movie that led to The Waltons
09:39

Hotel

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Pam Polifroni on casting The Love Boat and Hotel for Aaron Spelling and Douglas S. Cramer
02:48

It's About Time

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Pam Polifroni on working with Sherwood Schwartz on Gilligan's Island and It's About Time
02:44

Loretta Young Show, The

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Pam Polifroni on her first television job, as a secretary on The Loretta Young Show, and on working with Loretta Young
03:51
Pam Polifroni on getting into casting on The Loretta Young Show, and on the Hollywood Blacklist
04:25

Love Boat, The

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Pam Polifroni on casting The Love Boat and Hotel for Aaron Spelling and Douglas S. Cramer
02:48

MacGyver

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Pam Polifroni on casting MacGyver
01:19

Santa Barbara

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Pam Polifroni on casting Santa Barbara, and on the process of casting a daytime drama
04:04

Waltons, The

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Pam Polifroni on casting The Waltons
10:26

Young Marrieds, The

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Pam Polifroni on casting The Young Marrieds and Alexander the Great
01:33
Topics

Advice

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Pam Polifroni on her advice to an aspiring casting director, and on how she would like to be remembered
02:21

Creative Influences and Inspiration

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Pam Polifroni on mentors in her career
01:14

Hollywood Blacklist

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Pam Polifroni on getting into casting on The Loretta Young Show, and on the Hollywood Blacklist
04:25

Industry Crossroads

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Pam Polifroni on getting into casting on The Loretta Young Show, and on the Hollywood Blacklist
04:25

Pivotal Career Moments

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Pam Polifroni on mentors in her career
01:14

Television Industry

View Topic
Pam Polifroni on getting into casting on The Loretta Young Show, and on the Hollywood Blacklist
04:25
Pam Polifroni on her advice to an aspiring casting director, and on how she would like to be remembered
02:21
Pam Polifroni on how casting has changed since she started
00:59
Professions

Casting Director

View Profession
Pam Polifroni on her casting process and on the importance of casting
06:29
Pam Polifroni on her casting process and on diversity in casting
03:19
Pam Polifroni on working with agents and managers as a casting director
01:17
Pam Polifroni on working with budgets as a casting director
03:20
Pam Polifroni on how casting has changed since she started
00:59
Pam Polifroni on her advice to an aspiring casting director, and on how she would like to be remembered
02:21
Pam Polifroni on casting Santa Barbara, and on the process of casting a daytime drama
04:04

Talent Coordinator

View Profession
Pam Polifroni on the qualities a casting director needs
01:33

Talent Professionals

View Profession
Pam Polifroni on her casting process and on the importance of casting
06:29
Pam Polifroni on her casting process and on diversity in casting
03:19
Pam Polifroni on working with agents and managers as a casting director
01:17
Pam Polifroni on working with budgets as a casting director
03:20
Pam Polifroni on the qualities a casting director needs
01:33
Pam Polifroni on how casting has changed since she started
00:59
Pam Polifroni on her advice to an aspiring casting director, and on how she would like to be remembered
02:21
Pam Polifroni on casting Santa Barbara, and on the process of casting a daytime drama
04:04
Genres

Adventure/Espionage Series

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Pam Polifroni on casting MacGyver
01:19

Classic Anthology Series

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Pam Polifroni on her first television job, on The Loretta Young Show
08:16

Comedy Series

View Genre
Pam Polifroni on working with Sherwood Schwartz on Gilligan's Island and It's About Time
02:44
Pam Polifroni on casting the third pilot for All in the Family, and on working with Norman Lear
10:51
Pam Polifroni on casting Eight is Enough
04:22
Pam Polifroni on casting The Love Boat and Hotel for Aaron Spelling and Douglas S. Cramer
02:48

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

View Genre
Pam Polifroni on casting Hawaii Five-O
04:20

Daytime/Primetime Serials

View Genre
Pam Polifroni on casting General Hospital when it first went on the air in 1963
03:46
Pam Polifroni on casting The Young Marrieds and Alexander the Great
01:33
Pam Polifroni on casting Santa Barbara, and on the process of casting a daytime drama
04:04

Drama Series

View Genre
Pam Polifroni on casting The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, and The Waltons
20:05
Pam Polifroni on casting The Love Boat and Hotel for Aaron Spelling and Douglas S. Cramer
02:48

Legal Dramas

View Genre
Pam Polifroni on casting Day in Court, and on the process of casting in those days
03:49

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

View Genre
Pam Polifroni on casting The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, and The Waltons
20:05
Pam Polifroni on casting the television movie The Migrants and the pilot Three for the Road
02:12

Western Series

View Genre
Pam Polifroni on casting Gunsmoke
22:24
People

James Arness

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Pam Polifroni on working with James Arness as "Matt Dillon" and Amanda Blake as "Miss Kitty" on Gunsmoke
01:21

Amanda Blake

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Pam Polifroni on working with James Arness as "Matt Dillon" and Amanda Blake as "Miss Kitty" on Gunsmoke
01:21

Douglas S. Cramer

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Pam Polifroni on casting The Love Boat and Hotel for Aaron Spelling and Douglas S. Cramer
02:48

Bette Davis

View Person Page
Pam Polifroni on casting Bette Davis in a guest-starring role on Gunsmoke
02:30

Jodie Foster

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Pam Polifroni on casting Jodie Foster in a guest-starring role on Gunsmoke
01:10

Ron Howard

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Pam Polifroni on Bruce Boxleitner, Cicely Tyson, and Clint and Ron Howard appearing on Gunsmoke
02:51

Clint Howard

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Pam Polifroni on Bruce Boxleitner, Cicely Tyson, and Clint and Ron Howard appearing on Gunsmoke
02:51

Norman Lear

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Pam Polifroni on casting the third pilot for All in the Family, and on working with Norman Lear
10:51

John Mantley

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Pam Polifroni on the challenge of casting Gunsmoke, and on working with show producer John Mantley
03:00

Sherwood Schwartz

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Pam Polifroni on working with Sherwood Schwartz on Gilligan's Island and It's About Time
02:44

Cicely Tyson

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Pam Polifroni on Bruce Boxleitner, Cicely Tyson, and Clint and Ron Howard appearing on Gunsmoke
02:51

Jon Voight

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Pam Polifroni on casting Jon Voight in a guest-starring role on Gunsmoke
02:57

Ethel Winant

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Pam Polifroni on casting Gunsmoke, and on working with Ethel Winant at CBS
03:35

Loretta Young

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Pam Polifroni on her first television job on The Loretta Young Show
08:16

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