The curtain falls on International Casting Services

21 May, 2013 by Don Groves

One of Australia’s longest-established talent agencies, International Casting Services (ICS), is closing its doors.

Other agents expressed sadness and surprise that the agency founded by the late Gloria Payten in 1961 is going out of business.


ICS represented dozens of Australian artists working in film, television, theatre, radio and commercial media platforms. Its creatives department looked after choreographers, cinematographers, designers, directors and writers while ICS Voices provided talent for TV and radio commercials, documentaries, corporate presentations, book readings and business events.

According to the agency’s website its roster included Jacki Weaver (who now works mostly in the US, where she’s repped by ICM Partners, Elevate Entertainment and Felker Tocezk), Kris McQuade, John Waters, Martin Sacks, Rachel Blake, Helen Morse, Drew Forsythe, John Gaden, Tony Martin, Philip Quast, Debra Lawrance and Lorna Lesley.

Word of ICS’s demise spread on Monday after the Darlinghurst-based agency sent emails to its clients advising of the closure, and some approached other agencies. Senior agent Pauline Lee was not available for comment on Tuesday but IF believes she is retiring and that another senior ICS agent, Melina McKenna, is joining Lisa Mann Creative Management.

Mark Morrissey of Mark Morrissey & Associates said on Facebook, “I've admired and respected this agency, their agents and client list ever since I began in this business more than 30 years ago. Wonderful characters like Pauline Lee will be sorely missed – never replaced. I admired ICS as old school, tough, sincere, doing the hard work for their clients for all the right reasons. I wish Pauline and everyone at ICS a heartfelt thank you for guiding and caring for the many, many talented people they introduced to this industry.”

Actor Andrew McFarlane said, “That is indeed sad news…a wonderful agency. My first agent, Gloria Payten, set me on my theatrical career when I was fresh out of NIDA in 1973. Philomena Moore and then the wonderful Pauline Lee were all instrumental in guiding me in my career for over 25 years. Wonderful memories and many, many thanks to this wonderful agency. 

Fellow actor Tony Bonner said, “Indeed a sad day when any institution, let alone an iconic one pulls the shutters down. ICS was always held in high regard within the industry.”

Casting director Peter Rasmussen said, “That's terrible. A wonderful, respectable agency.”