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.”

Join the Conversation


  1. I used to be so scared of Gloria Payten when I started work at Grundys in the early 80’s – there was also Philomena to get past, and Pauline balanced them out with a slightly gentler reception to a green casting person (I used to take deep breaths before phoning any of them as I knew I had to get my facts right and be ready to negotiate fairly)
    They all taught me so much about respect for themselves and their clients and throughout the years I have admired ICS for being what a real Agent should do – looking after their clients’ interests first.
    Wishing all from ICS the very best – what a client list! Sue Manger

  2. A very sad day, but what a great legacy ICS leaves. I first did business with them in 1968, dealing with Gloria, Phil Moore, and June Cann. They were tough, but fair negotiators, and I certainly learnt a lot from my dealings with them. The agency had wonderful actors, whom they looked after brilliantly well, as witness some of the greats on its roster at closure, who had been with them for more than 40 years.

    David Hannay.

  3. Very sad to hear about the closure of ICS.

    When I first came to Australia I became a professional actress and Gloria Payten took the risk of representing me. She was a marvellous agent and got me my first breaks, including touring N.S.W as the ASM/Understudy in Odd Man In, understudying Melissa Jaffer. She also got me work voicing little boys in films and on radio!

    Some years later after I married and stopped work in order to bring up my son, Gloria Payten invited me to join her on the staff of ICS. I left Lintas Advertising where I was Casting Director, and worked for her for two years. She taught me all I know about being an actor’s agent and June Cann (looking after the ‘boys’) and I (looking after the ‘girls’) worked very happily together and had many laughs. I really enjoyed looking after actors and many of them
    became long time friends.

  4. Oboy ICS. Yes very sad but what memories. I remember one lady star we booked for some radio spots. There was about 5 others, from various agencies including ICS and it was raining like h*ll. Everyone arrived at the studio on time but one.

    After we passed the scripts around, this star says ‘we can’t start yet Anns not here’ Ann was of course the announcer! Yep I wouldn’t have missed it for the worlds.

    Cheers all Allan Black, Black Inc Recorders P/L.

  5. A heartfelt thanks to Philomena. Pauline, Melina and the rest of the team. They took me on as a 6 month trial in April 1991 and I have been with them ever since. I have also managed to act, sing, voice, present, write and produce until this very day. I hope of course that I can secure myself good representation soon.
    Thanks again ICS.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *