|Born||March 14, 1936
|Died||April 21, 2004
Selway was born in Norwich in 1936 and attended the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London. She worked as a model and as a PA at ITV before starting to work in casting, first under Miriam Brickman and then under Lindsay Anderson at the Royal Court Theatre in London. By the age of 34 she had started casting films, which she continued for the rest of her life. She had two daughters: the agent Kate Buckley and the actress Emma Buckley. Selway died of cancer in 2004.
Selway worked with a number of renowned directors over three decades, including Steven Spielberg, Roman Polanski, Clint Eastwood, John Boorman, Sydney Pollack, Robert Altman, Michael Apted, Nicolas Roeg, Fred Schepisi, Fred Zinnemann and Ridley Scott. She was responsible for the casting for 104 films, and gained a reputation for fairness, determination, charm, wisdom and irreverence, and was fascinated and delighted by the talent of the actors she cast. She was a tireless champion of new acting talent, whom she discovered and nurtured. Unusually, she would stay in touch with the cast throughout the shooting process.
A biographical documentary entitled A Cast of Thousands: The Life of Mary Selway is being produced in celebration of her life. It is directed by Isabelle Gregson, who explained that it aims "in its own small way to give those who didn't have the pleasure of knowing her, a taste for her enormous contribution to Cinema through the eyes and words of those who knew and loved her."
She directed the casting of many well-known films, including: