Merrill Jonas

Merrill Jonas

Date of Birth

Date of Birth: April 04, 2021
Date of Passing: March 04, 2021
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts
Obituary: Hollywood Reporter

Merrill Jonas was an American casting director.

Jonas joined the U.S. Women Marines during World War II and then started out in show business as a performer on CBS Radio’s music quiz show, Grand Slam.

As an actress and on-camera spokesperson, Jonas appeared in commercials during the 1950s and 1960s for products including Anacin, M&Ms, Tide, Lipton Tea, and many others.

Merrill Jonas was an American casting director.

Jonas joined the U.S. Women Marines during World War II and then started out in show business as a performer on CBS Radio’s music quiz show, Grand Slam.

As an actress and on-camera spokesperson, Jonas appeared in commercials during the 1950s and 1960s for products including Anacin, M&Ms, Tide, Lipton Tea, and many others.

In the 1950s, Jonas worked in public relations, joining Radio Free Europe, a and producing events for the U.S. Committee for the United Nations and the American Council on NATO.broadcasting organization created by the United States government in 1950 to provide information and political commentary to the people of communist eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. She traveled to Europe for the Crusade for Freedom project launched by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, and produced events for the U.S. Committee for the United Nations and the American Council on NATO.

After several years in the 1960s as personal assistant to Jerry Leider, senior partner in charge of worldwide television packaging at Ashley Famous Agency, Jonas transitioned to TV casting.

Jonas rose to head of the casting department at Ogilvy and Mather in New York in the early 1970s, where she led a six-person team that cast more than 100 commercials. The celebrity talent included Patricia Neal, Karl Malden, Anna-Maria Alberghetti, Arthur Ashe, Sonny and Cher, and Ravi Shankar.

While working as director of the commercial department at Creative Management Associates in New York, Jonas cast talent including Jackie Gleason, Rod Serling, Florence Henderson, Zero Mostel and Mel Brooks.

Jonas eventually started her own agency, Celebrity Casting Associates, where she made deals for TV news anchor Frank Blair, Broadway star Phyllis Newman, pianist Peter Duchin, and sports legends Pete Rose and Dan Pastorini.

Jonas died March 4, 2021, in Woodland Hills, California. She was 96.

Show more
Browser Requirements
The TelevisionAcademy.com sites look and perform best when using a modern browser.

We suggest you use the latest version of any of these browsers:

Chrome
Firefox
Safari


Visiting the site with Internet Explorer or other browsers may not provide the best viewing experience.

Close Window