Don Phillips “Dazed and Confused Casting Director” dies at 80

Casting director and producer by profession, Don Phillips, who was to turn 81 this year on December 21, dies at 80. The producer is famous for Dazed and Confused in 1993, Melvin and Howard in 1980, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High in 1982, and more. Sudden death was due to a natural cause according to reports.


The producer has helped many actors establish their careers in the film industry. Some of the notable actors are Sean Penn, Matthew McConaughey and Mary Steenburgen. Don Phillips passed away on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 2021.

  • first break: Entry-level job in filmmaker Otto Preminger’s film casting department such good friends in 1971. Phillip worked hard and for this Preminger was impressed and decided to recognize him. Following this act, Phillips was hired to do additional casting on Serpico by Sidney Lumet. This film starred Al Pacino and helped Phillips expand his career.
  • Career Expansion: Sidney Lumet assigned him again as a casting director on another film, Dog afternoon. This movie also starred Al Pacino. Phillips got credit for casting John Cazale for casting him alongside Al Pacino. Once again, Phillip chose the team from Car wash in 1976.

Don Phillips worked on the National Lampoon’s Animal House in 1978 along with his partner Michael Chinich.

mr phillips
Don Phillips "Dazed and Confused Casting Director" dies at 80
Phillips expanded to produce

Produced in 1974 since his first film was in 1980 by Universal’s- Melvin and Howard. Phillip hired Jonathan Demme to direct this story. The film did very well, taking home the Oscar for Best Screenplay, the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, and many nominations. She then re-released a film directed by Amy Heckerling in 1982, Fast at Ridgemont High.

He then found Sean Penn for the lead role, who was a newcomer. Penn’s first audition didn’t go very well, but Phillip asked her to come back and try again. Penn made it through and was selected. Phillip returned to producing with Penn’s directorial debut on the indian runner. Don Phillips has worked with Richard Linklater but as casting director for the most famous Dazed and Confused. For this movie, he met Matthew McConaughey and cast him. Phillip made many comebacks with his friends and cast actors for him.

In all these years, Phillips was working on a feature film Open Heart, directed by Edoardo Ponti. She collaborated with her nephew to develop the script. The film is based on the true story of Michael Debakey and Denton Cooley, who performed the first artificial heart transplant. Her nephew is Dr. Chris Allison, an orthopedic oncologist. News of his death was broken by his wife, Dorothy Pearl. She is a makeup artist too.

Discoveries of Don Phillips

Phillips has also discovered and cast actors for lead roles such as Rory CochraneBen Affleck, Cole Hauser, Renee Zelwegger, Parker Posey, Nicky Katt and many more.

Tribute on Twitter:

Show More

Related Articles