(written from a Production point of view)
- You may be looking for actor William Morgan Sheppard.
Shepard was born in Los Angeles, California. He served in the United States Navy before embarking on a career in the entertainment industry. He also worked as an usher at CBS.
Shepard died of a heart attack in Sherman Oaks, California, on 20 September 2009. He was 80 years old. He is survived by two daughters, a sister, and four granddaughters.
Shepard was an employee of Walt Disney Studios for thirty years, from 1954 through 1984. He began as a clerk in the editing department and later moved on to publicity. He ultimately became senior casting assistant at the company, and eventually a casting director.
During his time at Disney, Shepard worked in the casting department for such films as Herbie Goes Bananas (directed by Vincent McEveety) and The Devil and Max Devlin (featuring Julie Parrish). He was also responsible for giving actor Michael J. Fox his first film role in 1980's Midnight Madness.
He also cast the Disney TV movies Tales of the Apple Dumpling Gang (on which he worked with Ed Begley, Jr.) and The Adventures of Pollyanna (for which he helped to cast John Putch). In his last years at Disney, Shepard was casting director on Ron Howard's Splash (featuring Ronald F. Hoiseck and Clint Howard), My Science Project (featuring Raphael Sbarge), and Tim Burton's Frankenweenie.
Mel Brooks films Edit
During his later years, Shepard was the casting director for Mel Brooks on several of his films. The first was Spaceballs, which featured a young Tim Russ. He then cast 1991's Life Stinks (which featured Michael Ensign and Brian Thompson), Robin Hood: Men in Tights (in which Patrick Stewart made a cameo appearance), and Dracula: Dead and Loving It (starring Steven Weber).