Co-founder of the Casting Society was 88

Al Onorato, co-founder of the Casting Society of America and casting director of shows including “Bewitched,” “Police Story,” “Fame” and “The Patridge Family,” has died. He was 88.

Onorato died April 21 in Los Angeles, his nephew Chris Onorato announced.

Onorato co-founded the Casting Society of America (then known as the American Society of Casting Directors) in 1982 with Mike Fenton and Joe Reich. He and Jerold Franks – his Onorato/Franks Independent casting partner – won the CSA’s Artios Award for Best Casting in a Comedy for 1989’s “Baghdad Café.” At the 34th Annual Artios Awards in 2019, Onorato received an award from the organization for his life’s work.

As a talent manager, Onorato was instrumental in launching the careers of Kristin Chenoweth, Katie Holmes, Mark Harmon, Sean Murray and Elijah Wood. He was also instrumental in reviving Gwen Verdon’s career.

He was born Alfred Louis Onorato on November 10, 1935 in Jersey City, New Jersey and graduated from Hackensack High School and Fairleigh Dickinson University. After college, Onorato began his career in entertainment by working as a page for NBC Studios in New York City.

Onorato’s other credits as a casting supervisor and/or casting director include “The Fall Guy,” “Fantasy Island,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “The Wild Wild West,” “Bridget Loves Bernie,” “Police Woman.” , “The Silence at Bethany,” “CHiPs,” “David Cassidy – Man Undercover,” “Capitol,” “Mr. Merlin” and “Freddy’s Nightmares” as well as the daytime soap operas “General Hospital,” “Days of Our Lives” and “The Young and the Restless.”

He is survived by his siblings Edward, Ronald and Veronica; sisters-in-law Helen and Susan; brother-in-law Jack; and several nephews and a niece.