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Top casting directors Maggie Lunn and Doreen Jones die on same day

Maggie Lunn's credits as casting director included the Old Vic's High Society in 2015, starring Jamie Parker and Kate Fleetwood. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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Tributes have been paid to two leading casting directors who died within hours of each other on February 19.

Maggie Lunn, who had held key roles with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre and the Almeida Theatre, had been suffering from cancer and was 56 when she died.

She moved into theatre after beginning her career as a journalist with Private Eye and was also responsible for casting West End hits Flare Path and Noises Off as well as productions for the Old Vic, Sheffield Crucible and Chichester Festival theatres. Her screen credits included Hustle, Cranford and The Hollow Crown for the BBC.

Doreen Jones, who worked in television and film and won a Primetime Emmy award in 2006 for Elizabeth I starring Helen Mirren, was 76. The cause of death has not been released.

Among early tributes, actor Michael Simkins said Lunn and Jones were “two of the nicest casting directors I can ever recall during my time in the biz”.

The Casting Directors’ Guild hailed Jones as “one of the greats of British casting”.

Actor and director Samuel West tweeted: “The brilliant casting director and human Maggie Lunn has died. She cast four plays I directed, impeccably.”

Paul Miller, artistic director of the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, said: “The theatre has lost a great, funny, challenging, inspiring, incredibly gifted person in Maggie Lunn. She was an enthusiast for talent. RIP.”