Shurtleff, Michael 1930-2007 (Charles Gordon Shurtleff)

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Shurtleff, Michael 1930-2007 (Charles Gordon Shurtleff)


See index for CA sketch: Born July 30, 1930, in Oak Park, IL; died January 28, 2007, in Los Angeles, CA. Director, educator, and author. Shurtleff was a well-known casting director for Broadway and movies who also wrote Off-Broadway plays and the respected advice book Audition: Everything an Actor Needs to Know to Get the Part. After graduating with a B.A. from Lawrence University and completing an M.F.A. from Yale in 1952, he worked his way from the bottom up on Broadway. By 1959 Shurtleff was a casting director for David Merrick and helped hire actors for such 1960s hits as Carnival! and Oliver! He had become so successful that in 1962 he started his own company, Casting Consultants, which cast actors for such Broadway shows as Jesus Christ Superstar, Chicago, and Pippin. Shurtleff has also been credited with helping to start the careers of many actors and performers, including Robert Redford, Bette Midler, and Gene Hackman. Some say it was Shurtleff, too, who deserves the credit for discovering Barbra Streisand. An author himself, Shurtleff was critically praised for his Off- and Off-Off-Broadway plays, including Call Me by My Rightful Name (1961), A Day in the Life Of (1969), and Take Very Good Care of Yourself (1972). Founding the Shurtleff Studio for How to Audition Classes in 1964, the director taught actors tips on how to best win parts. He published his advice in Audition (1978), which is considered by many thespians to be the bible of how to audition. In his later life, Shurtleff suffered from lung cancer and other illnesses.



Los Angeles Times, February 15, 2007, p. B11.

New York Times, February 12, 2007, p. A23.