Doreen Jones who was casting director of Granada TV’s 1981 adaptation of Brideshead Revisited has died at the age of 76. Her obituary in the Guardian is written by Derek Granger who was producer of the series. Although she is best known to our readers for her participation in Brideshead, she also has several other notable casting achievements to her credit. As explained by Granger:
Doreen had a sharp instinct for the subtle chemistry that can exist between actors and knew well how players could spark off each other. She demonstrated this flair in the casting of Granada’s adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited (1981), which I produced, when she matched a lineup of promising young actors including Jeremy Irons, Anthony Andrews, Diana Quick and Phoebe Nicholls against such starry veterans as Laurence Olivier, John Gielgud and Claire Bloom.
Over her career, she was involved in casting over 400 productions. Among the other highlights cited by Granger was her casting of Helen Mirren as DCI Jane Tennison in ITV’s long-running series Prime Suspect beginning in 1991. She also cast Olivier in two other TV series after his Brideshead appearance:
Doreen’s acute eye was always in evidence. Recognising Olivier’s immense versatility she cast him not only as Lord Marchmain in Brideshead but also as the lecherous old artist in the TV film of John Fowles’s The Ebony Tower (1984) and again as the music-hall performer Harry Burrard in the adaptation of JB Priestley’s Lost Empires (1986).