Renowned Casting Director and Actor Jane Alderman Dies

Renowned Casting Director and Actor Jane Alderman Dies

Jane Alderman, one of Chicago’s leading casting directors for 30 years, passed away on October 23rd.

“Jane Alderman loved actors. The great ones, the talented but undisciplined ones, the undiscovered ones and the ones that were better off becoming a stage manager. She was expert at bluntly, but with great empathy, telling actors the bad news that they had not gotten a part,” reads a facebook post from her son Jason.

British-born and New York raised, Alderman made Chicago her home for 42 years, casting over 62 films, 70 television shows and series, and 36 major plays. She was the Chicago casting director for the television show ER for all 15 seasons. Major film casting credits included FRED CLAUS, RUDY, THE STRAIGHT STORY, FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF, and BACKDRAFT. For television: NORMAL, WHAT ABOUT JOAN, EZ STREETS, TURKS, EARLY EDITION and THE UNTOUCHABLES. She cast the National Tour of EVITA for Hal Prince.

As an actress, her most notable performance was opposite John Malkovich and Glenne Headly in the Goodman Theatre’s groundbreaking production of Sam Shepard’s CURSE OF THE STARVING CLASS. In her recent return to the stage, she originated the role of Lady Boyle in Tracy Letts’ SUPERIOR DONUTS at Steppenwolf prior to the reprising her role on Broadway.

Jane appeared in HONUS AND ME at The Goodman Theatre, numerous improv stints at IO and Annoyance Theatre, as well as in Marriott Lincolnshire’s FUNNY GIRL and the long-running Chicago production of VAGINA MONOLOGUES. On the screen, she appeared in the film CONVICTION in a pivotal role opposite Hilary Swank and Minnie Driver, THE BREAK UP as Vince Vaughn’s mother, and THE MAN IN THE SILO co-starring with Ernie Hudson. Her most recent TV role was a guest appearance on the ABC series, DETROIT 187.

The winner of Casting Society of America’s Artios Award for Excellence in Casting for both Dramatic Pilot (EZ STREETS) and Movie of The Week (NORMAL), she has also been nominated for UNTOUCHABLES, TURKS and ER. She was honored by Women In Film Chicago with their annual Focus Award, Eclipse Theatre’s annual Corona Award, and was picked by Chicago Magazine as one of 29 Stars of The Movie Business in Chicago.

Alderman taught at DePaul’s Theatre School for 20 years and for 8 years at Roosevelt. She was well known for her seminars and audition workshops.

A member of SAG/AFTRA and AEA, she co-created a program for the Chicago branch of SAG/AFTRA called “Casting Access” to help make casting directors accessible to professional actors. Jane was a founding member of Women In Film Chicago and an original member of Casting Society of America.

Donations in Alderman’s honor can be made to her favorite charity: the Actors Fund ( A memorial service will be held in Chicago later this year.

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