Prolific Broadway, film, and television casting director Barry Moss died this morning at the age of 74. Reports say he passed peacefully in New York following an extended illness.
Born April 25, 1940, Moss worked for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences before moving to New York to begin a career as a director — a field he studied as a student at UCLA. He later replaced agent Mary Jo Slater at the Mort Schwartz Agency, where he was put in charge of the theatrical department. He soon met Julie Hughes, with whom he founded Hughes Moss Casting in 1982. They quickly became a successful team, at one point representing eight different concurrently running Broadway shows.
Moss is credited with casting nearly 90 Broadway productions, including West Side Story (1980 revival), Nine, Torch Song Trilogy, The Who's Tommy, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1996 revival), Titanic, and most recently, the 2008 production of A Tale of Two Cities. He is also well known for casting the popular television series The Cosby Show.
Berney Telsey offered the following comment on Moss' passing on behalf of the Casting Society of America New York Board: "To say that Barry was a pioneer of the casting industry is an understatement. His credits alone speak volumes of his contributions to the New York entertainment industry and CSA, but more importantly, they represent the stories of hundreds of stage actors who were given their first professional jobs or Broadway debuts. He will be greatly missed by Casting Directors and actors alike who will all remember him as a kind and generous human being who believed that performance art could make a difference in the world."