Jay Binder, who served as casting director for over 100 projects from Lost in Yonkers, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, and The King and I to Chicago, The Lion King, and A Gentleman's Guide to Love & Murder, has died.
A publicist claims that Binder died peacefully Friday at his home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The cause of his death has not been found.
Binder, a native of South Orange, New Jersey, cast every play from 1990 through 2009, and received 11 Artios Awards from the Casting Society of America, the highest honor in casting.
In 1998 and 2010, he received Tony nominations for the songs of Rainbow and The Sound of Music. He also directed various Tony-winning adaptations of Dames at Sea, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Gypsy, Beauty and the Beast, as well as Jerome Robbins' Broadway.
Binder co-founded the Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert series at New York City Center in 1994. His work with this critically acclaimed series led to the Tony-winning revival of Chicago, which started in 1996.
"I've been working hand-in-glove with Jay for two decades," Jack Viertel, who directed the series from 2000 to 20 years, said in a statement. "He was always the most knowledgeable, passionate, and feistiest person in the room. He loved actors and wanted every one of them to succeed. I'll miss that spirit, that optimism, and that deep well of knowledge forever."
Binder, who stars Regina Taylor and Sarah Thompson in the Emmy-winning HBO series I'll Fly Away, has served as Warner Bros. Television's casting director for the 2013 season.
On the big screen, he worked in Chicago (2002), Dreamgirls (2006), Hairspray (2007), and Nine (2009).
On the 2001 PBS special, My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs, Binder was a creative consultant for Disney World and National Artists Management Co.
Binder was on Broadway's associate director of Lolita and Happy New Year; directed the premiere production of Love and Other Fables at Theatre by the Sea in Rhode Island; and worked as a director of several regional theaters across the country, including Present Laughter at the Acting Company; Rex, Jumbo, and Best Foot Forward at the York Theatre Festival. At the Berkshire Theatre Festival, Binder was a speaker on Broadway.
Binder Casting, a theater company founded in 2016, was acquired by RWS Entertainment Group, and he was promoted to director of theatrical development at RWS until his retirement in July 2020.
A memorial will be opened at a later date.