She changed the faces of Hollywood films.
Her talent and passion helped Midnight Cowboy win the Oscar for Best Picture of 1969. Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman were both nominees for Best Actor.
She helped launch the acclaimed film career of Glenn Close by bringing her to The World According to Garp with Robin Williams.
In New York City's Greenwich Village, this casting director went to see a play and discovered an exciting new stage actor named Al Pacino.
One thing that jumped out at me in this fine, surprising documentary -- the number of other women who were mentored and/or inspired by Marion Dougherty as they entered careers in casting. Dougherty was not only a risk taker and a visionary, she was generous of spirit. She shared her gifts.
But Hollywood big boys at the Academy just didn't seem to get it. If only the Academy had loved her as much as she loved actors and movies.
Do you ever look up informtion on IMDb.com? That stands for Internet Movie Database. Here's why I put Dougherty in the same female pioneer category as Ida Lupino: Search for Ida Lupino on IMDb.com. High Sierra, The Hard Way, They Drive By Night, Deep Valley, Lust for Gold and The Big Knife are in her extensive list of acting credits. She slammed across some solid big screen performances from the 1930s to the early 1970s. Now look under that section and check out her equally extensive list of credits as a film and TV director. Notice how long it is. Ida acted and directed. For episodic television, she directed westerns, medical dramas, sitcoms, cop/action shows and psychological thrillers. She broke new ground for Women in Hollywood and Women in Films. She never got a special Emmy, an Oscar nomination or a special Oscar.
My jaw dropped down to the floor with a "clunk" sound like I was a character in a 1940s Tex Avery cartoon when I saw that, despite major campaigning from top Hollywood stars, Marion Dougherty was denied a special Oscar for her achievements in film.
The lady deserved Oscar recognition. I bet you'll feel to same way after you see Casting By. The legendary casting executive passed away in December 2011.
In one of my April blogs from this year, I pitched that TCM invite famed casting director Lynn Stalmaster on to be a Guest Programmer with Robert Osborne one night. Dougherty's L.A. counterpart, he's also in the documentary. He talks about the craft of casting and he joins in the praise for Marion's talents.