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Janet Di Lauro

Former Days Casting Director Fran Bascom Dead

By June 3, 2013

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Former Days of Our Lives casting director Fran Bascom died on Sunday, June 2.

Bascom had felt under the weather in recent weeks. She began to feel ill on Sunday and was taken to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Calif., where she passed away. The cause of death has yet to be determined.

Bascom had cast numerous primetime shows over the years, including Designing Women (1986-1993), Evening Shade (1990-1993) and Lou Grant (1977-1982). She also cast Days from 1998 to 2007.

Among the  numerous stars Bascom brought to the show: Arianne Zucker (Nicole), Alison Sweeney (Sami), Blake Berris (Nick), Darin Brooks (ex-Max), Nadia Bjorlin (ex-Chloe), Jay Kenneth Johnson (ex-Philip), Patrika Darbo (ex-Nancy), Kevin Spirtas (ex-Craig) and Martha Madison (ex-Belle).

"She put Kevin Spirtas and me on the DOOL roster," posted Darbo on Facebook. "She also had me in for many other roles she was casting over the years and words can''t express the loss I and numerous other actors feel today. So many owe their careers to this great lady."

"RIP Fran Bascom. You changed my life completely! With gratitude forever!!" posted Madison.

Personally, I remember Bascom well. She was a kind, gracious and funny woman, and she often asked my opinion about newcomers on Days. While I usually praised her choices, on occasion I would be brutally honest and say, "Fran, he's awful." Her response was usually, "He was only supposed to be a day player. Then, they decided to write him in for a few months." It always made me laugh.

Rest in peace Fran. You will be missed.


June 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm
(1) Barry Cutler says:

Thanks to Fran, I was an actor on “Days” for a brief time. (I’m hoping I’m not the day player mentioned in the article.) Fran was beloved in the acting community. More than any other casting director, she would attend theater in search of talent. And, once she became a fan, she had an extraordinary memory and, once she thought there was a role for which you’d be right, she did all you could to get you cast. I had moved from New York back to L.A. to play The Parrot Man and, having to keep two places, money was short. I tried to get my agent to pitch a salary raise but he was too meek to do so. Still, I got the raise, thanks to Fran going to bat for me. Fran was one of the finest people I ever encountered in the business. She will be missed. She is missed.

June 11, 2013 at 1:29 pm
(2) Gail says:

I loved “Parrot Man” and the whole Aremid (spelling?) plot !
It was one of their best ! Thanks Barry for portraying Parrot Man!


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