Tony-winning ‘Cats’ and ‘Les Misérables’ casting director was 91 – deadline

Geoffrey Johnson, whose Johnson-Liff Casting was behind the roles of Cats, Les Misérables, and The Phantom of the Opera, The three oldest Broadway shows died on Friday, November 26. He was 91 years old and died of respiratory failure at Henry J. Carter Hospital in New York.

Johnson’s journaling career saw him appear on Broadway as an actor. He also worked with David Merrick as a stage manager and casting director and was the US representative for Noël Coward.

Born in New York on June 23, 1930 and raised in Larchmont NY, he received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

From there he worked as an actor, appearing in Saint Joan on Broadway in 1956,

He has also been the stage manager of several Broadway shows, including Cactus flower and I do, I do.

His work as a director led him to Noël Coward, with whom he worked on the Broadway production of Sail away. The relationship continued after that, with Johnson serving as Coward’s U.S. representative until the actor’s death in 1973.

After working with David Merrick as stage manager and casting director, he formed Johnson-Liff Casting in 1975 with his business partner Vincent Liff and fellow casting directors Linda Otto and Geri Windsor.

Their successes included casting the three oldest Broadway shows, Cats, Les Misérables, and The Phantom of the Opera. They worked with Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Cameron Mackintosh and were responsible for distributing sheet music for Broadway shows, including Elephant Man, Dreamgirls, Miss Saigon and Kiss of the spider woman.

In 2003, Johnson and Vincent Liff received a Tony Award for Excellence in Theater, as well as the Hoyt Bowers Award and several Artios Awards from the Casting Society of America.

Johnson continued to be an active member of the theater community after the Johnson-Liff office closed in 2002. He served on Tony’s nominating committee for several years and was a director of the Noël Coward Foundation and life president. from the Noël Coward archives. Confidence.

In 2016, he established the Geoffrey Ashton Johnson / Noël Coward Fellowship at the Yale School of Drama to honor Coward’s contribution to this art form and his legacy as a playwright and performer.

He is survived by his niece, Valerie Cortalano (Bruce) in Garrison, NY; nephew Bruce Johnson of Wilton Manors, Florida; great-nephews Charles Cortalano (Elizabeth) in White Plains, NY; Geoffrey Cortalano (Christine) in Cold Spring, NY; Nicholas Cortalano in Garrison, NY; Ryan Johnson in Palm Coast, Florida, his cousins ​​and many friends in the United States and England. He was predeceased by his brother Alfred Ashton Johnson, his sister Patricia Johnson Friedman, his nephew Craig Johnson and his life partner Jerry Hogan.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Noël Coward Foundation, the Calvaire Hospital Foundation, Where The Actors’ Fund.

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