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Frances Carbonari Bascom

"Days" Casting Director, 1992-2007



Deadline.com has reported that veteran casting director Fran Bascom, 86, passed away on Sunday, June 2, 2013. She had been feeling poorly of late but was still very energetic until she became ill last night and was taken to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, CA, where she died. Bascom, who had her own casting agency, Fran Bascom Casting, cast such popular shows as Lou Grant, Designing Women, Evening Shade, Hearts Afire and soap Days Of Our Lives. According to IMDb, her most recent job was on last year’s Hank Williams biopic The Last Ride starring Henry Thomas and Kaley Cuoco. Her Casting Society of America bio noted that her passion was theatre, and she volunteered her casting expertise at various small theaters in LA where she was always on the lookout for new talent. Bascom was predeceased by her daughter, Cheryl, in 2007.

Bascom, who was born Frances Carbonari in Buffalo, New York in January 1927, was the casting director for "Days of Our Lives" from 1992-2007. During her 15 years with "Days", she cast hundreds of actors, including Jensen Ackles, Krista Allen, Victor Alfieri, Jaime Lyn Bauer, Brandon Beemer, Ashley Benson, Blake Berris, Nadia Bjorlin, Steve Blackwood, Tanya Boyd, Kyle Brandt, Darin Brooks, Matt Cedeno, Jason Cook, Roark Critchlow, Patrika Darbo, Bryan Dattilo, Eileen Davidson, Farah Fath, Shelley Hennig, Brody Hutzler, Renee Jones, Jay Kenneth Johnson, Lauren Koslow, Heather Lindell, Kyle Lowder, Martha Madison, Rachel Melvin, Julianne Morris, Austin Peck, Julie Pinson, James Scott, Kevin Spirtas, Kirsten Storms, Alexis Thorpe, Alison Sweeney, William Utay, Mark Valley, Eric Winter and Arianne Zucker.

One of the first people that Bascom cast for "Days" was Alison Sweeney, who recently celebrated her 20th anniversary in the role of Sami Brady. In Sweeney's book, "All the Days of My Life (So Far)", she remembers her first meeting with Bascom in 1992: "I was a bundle of nervous energy leading up to the audition. When the day finally arrived...I drove to the interview, which was with Fran Bascom...Fran is a great lady...and I was really anxious about meeting her. But she was so nice that, almost right away, I felt much more comfortable...As I was walking out the door, Fran stopped me in my tracks and pulled me aside. "Ali", she said, "you did a great job."..."Look", Fran continued, "we're holding the screen test on Wednesday. Ali, I want you to come back on Wednesday. Can you make it?" I couldn't believe Fran was telling me this right then and there. She seemed to have instantly made a decision that I might be right for the part." Sweeney would return for that audition, and 20 years later, is still playing Sami.
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