Geoffrey Johnson, a celebrated casting director whose work with business partner Vincent Liff included such shows as Cats, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, and Miss Saigon, died November 26. He was 91.
Johnson-Liff Casting, formed in 1957, frequently worked with Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Cameron Mackintosh (including on the aforementioned mega-hits). The company’s additional credits included Kiss of the Spider Woman, Dreamgirls, and The Elephant Man. The group was the recipient of honorary Tony and Drama Desk Awards in 2003, following the closure of the office.
Prior to his work in casting, Mr. Johnson entered the industry as a performer, appearing in the 1956 revival of Saint Joan. A decade later, he returned to Broadway, this time as a stage manager on such shows as Oliver!, Cactus Flower, and I Do! I Do!. Over the years, he became a trusted colleague of both Noël Coward and David Merrick, including as a trustee of the former’s foundation.
Mr. Johnson is preceded in death by his partner Jerry Hogan, brother Alfred, sister Patricia Johnson Friedman, and nephew Craig. He is survived by his niece Valerie Cortalano; nephew Bruce; and great nephews Ryan Johnson and Charles, Geoffrey, and Nicholas Cortalano. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Noël Coward Foundation, Calvary Hospital, or The Actors Fund.