Pam Polifroni

Casting Director


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

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."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Pam Polifroni on casting General Hospital when it first went on the air in 1963
Pam Polifroni on casting Bette Davis in a guest-starring role on Gunsmoke
Pam Polifroni on casting the third pilot for All in the Family, and on working with Norman Lear
Pam Polifroni on her casting process and on the importance of casting
Pam Polifroni on casting for Disney feature films
Pam Polifroni on her advice to an aspiring casting director, and on how she would like to be remembered
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
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
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
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
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

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
On casting Hawaii Five-O; on casting the third pilot for All in the Family, and on working with Norman Lear
On casting The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, the television movie that led to The Waltons; on casting The Waltons
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
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
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
Shows

All in the Family

View Show Page
Pam Polifroni on casting the third pilot for All in the Family, and on working with Norman Lear

Day in Court

View Show Page
Pam Polifroni on casting Day in Court, and on the process of casting in those days

Eight Is Enough

View Show Page
Pam Polifroni on casting Eight is Enough

General Hospital

View Show Page
Pam Polifroni on casting General Hospital when it first went on the air in 1963

Gunsmoke

View Show Page
Pam Polifroni on casting Gunsmoke, and on working with Ethel Winant at CBS
Pam Polifroni on the challenge of casting Gunsmoke, and on working with show producer John Mantley
Pam Polifroni on working with James Arness as "Matt Dillon" and Amanda Blake as "Miss Kitty" on Gunsmoke
Pam Polifroni on casting various roles on Gunsmoke
Pam Polifroni on casting Bette Davis in a guest-starring role on Gunsmoke
Pam Polifroni on casting Jon Voight in a guest-starring role on Gunsmoke
Pam Polifroni on casting Jodie Foster in a guest-starring role on Gunsmoke
Pam Polifroni on Bruce Boxleitner, Cicely Tyson, and Clint and Ron Howard appearing on Gunsmoke
Pam Polifroni on the success of Gunsmoke, and on casting How the West was Won
Pam Polifroni on casting the Gunsmoke reunion movies, and on the legacy of the show

Hawaii Five-O

View Show Page
Pam Polifroni on casting Hawaii Five-O

Homecoming, The: A Christmas Story

View Show Page
Pam Polifroni on casting The Homecoming: A Christmas Story, the television movie that led to The Waltons

Hotel

View Show Page
Pam Polifroni on casting The Love Boat and Hotel for Aaron Spelling and Douglas S. Cramer

It's About Time

View Show Page
Pam Polifroni on working with Sherwood Schwartz on Gilligan's Island and It's About Time

Loretta Young Show, The

View Show Page
Pam Polifroni on her first television job, as a secretary on The Loretta Young Show, and on working with Loretta Young
Pam Polifroni on getting into casting on The Loretta Young Show, and on the Hollywood Blacklist

Love Boat, The

View Show Page
Pam Polifroni on casting The Love Boat and Hotel for Aaron Spelling and Douglas S. Cramer

MacGyver

View Show Page
Pam Polifroni on casting MacGyver

Santa Barbara

View Show Page
Pam Polifroni on casting Santa Barbara, and on the process of casting a daytime drama

Waltons, The

View Show Page
Pam Polifroni on casting The Waltons

Young Marrieds, The

View Show Page
Pam Polifroni on casting The Young Marrieds and Alexander the Great
Topics

Advice

View Topic
Pam Polifroni on her advice to an aspiring casting director, and on how she would like to be remembered

Creative Influences and Inspiration

View Topic
Pam Polifroni on mentors in her career

Hollywood Blacklist

View Topic
Pam Polifroni on getting into casting on The Loretta Young Show, and on the Hollywood Blacklist

Industry Crossroads

View Topic
Pam Polifroni on getting into casting on The Loretta Young Show, and on the Hollywood Blacklist

Pivotal Career Moments

View Topic
Pam Polifroni on mentors in her career

Television Industry

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

Casting Director

View Profession
Pam Polifroni on her casting process and on the importance of casting
Pam Polifroni on her casting process and on diversity in casting
Pam Polifroni on working with agents and managers as a casting director
Pam Polifroni on working with budgets as a casting director
Pam Polifroni on how casting has changed since she started
Pam Polifroni on her advice to an aspiring casting director, and on how she would like to be remembered
Pam Polifroni on casting Santa Barbara, and on the process of casting a daytime drama

Talent Coordinator

View Profession
Pam Polifroni on the qualities a casting director needs

Talent Professionals

View Profession
Pam Polifroni on her casting process and on the importance of casting
Pam Polifroni on her casting process and on diversity in casting
Pam Polifroni on working with agents and managers as a casting director
Pam Polifroni on working with budgets as a casting director
Pam Polifroni on the qualities a casting director needs
Pam Polifroni on how casting has changed since she started
Pam Polifroni on her advice to an aspiring casting director, and on how she would like to be remembered
Pam Polifroni on casting Santa Barbara, and on the process of casting a daytime drama
Genres

Adventure/Espionage Series

View Genre
Pam Polifroni on casting MacGyver

Classic Anthology Series

View Genre
Pam Polifroni on her first television job, on The Loretta Young Show

Comedy Series

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

Cop/Detective/Mystery Series

View Genre
Pam Polifroni on casting Hawaii Five-O

Daytime/Primetime Serials

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

Drama Series

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

Legal Dramas

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

TV Movies/Miniseries/Dramatic Specials

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

Western Series

View Genre
Pam Polifroni on casting Gunsmoke
People

James Arness

View Interview Page
Pam Polifroni on working with James Arness as "Matt Dillon" and Amanda Blake as "Miss Kitty" on Gunsmoke

Amanda Blake

View Person Page
Pam Polifroni on working with James Arness as "Matt Dillon" and Amanda Blake as "Miss Kitty" on Gunsmoke

Douglas S. Cramer

View Interview Page
Pam Polifroni on casting The Love Boat and Hotel for Aaron Spelling and Douglas S. Cramer

Bette Davis

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

Jodie Foster

View Person Page
Pam Polifroni on casting Jodie Foster in a guest-starring role on Gunsmoke

Ron Howard

View Interview Page
Pam Polifroni on Bruce Boxleitner, Cicely Tyson, and Clint and Ron Howard appearing on Gunsmoke

Clint Howard

View Person Page
Pam Polifroni on Bruce Boxleitner, Cicely Tyson, and Clint and Ron Howard appearing on Gunsmoke

Norman Lear

View Interview Page
Pam Polifroni on casting the third pilot for All in the Family, and on working with Norman Lear

John Mantley

View Person Page
Pam Polifroni on the challenge of casting Gunsmoke, and on working with show producer John Mantley

Sherwood Schwartz

View Interview Page
Pam Polifroni on working with Sherwood Schwartz on Gilligan's Island and It's About Time

Cicely Tyson

View Person Page
Pam Polifroni on Bruce Boxleitner, Cicely Tyson, and Clint and Ron Howard appearing on Gunsmoke

Jon Voight

View Person Page
Pam Polifroni on casting Jon Voight in a guest-starring role on Gunsmoke

Ethel Winant

View Interview Page
Pam Polifroni on casting Gunsmoke, and on working with Ethel Winant at CBS

Loretta Young

View Person Page
Pam Polifroni on her first television job on The Loretta Young Show

All Interviews

Q
S