'Thank you for the love, wisdom and guidance': Tributes pour in for SA casting director Moonyeenn Lee

20 July 2020 - 09:40 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Moonyeenn Lee's death was confirmed on Sunday.
Moonyeenn Lee's death was confirmed on Sunday.
Image: Facebook/Moonyeenn Lee

Tributes from actors and fans of iconic casting director Moonyeenn Lee have been pouring in since the news of her death.

Moonyeenn died on Saturday, at the age of 76, due to Covid-19 complications.

Her company, Moonyeenn Lee Associates, announced the news via a statement on Facebook on Sunday, saying: “It is with great sadness that we announce the death of the legendary South African casting director and agent, Moonyeenn Lee.”

Moonyeenn, who spent 47 years in the film industry, managed the casting of the Oscar-winning film Tsotsi, and many others, including The Bang Bang Club, Disgrace, Fanie Fourie’s Lobola, the Oscar-nominated Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Hotel Rwanda and Blood Diamond.

She received the Lionel Ngakane Lifetime Achievement Award from the SA Film & Television Awards in 2017.

“Moonyeenn helped shape the lives of many actors, directors and writers through her fierce honesty and passion. The South African film industry has lost an icon and a formidable champion of the arts. She will be sorely missed by us all,” read the statement.

Movie producer Anant Singh said Moonyeenn's death came as a great shock.

“My four-decade association with Moonyeenn started with my first film and endured through the years to include major productions like Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, The First Grader and Shepards and Butchers, on which she was casting director,” said Singh.

“Moonyeenn was, without doubt, a doyen of the industry who was responsible for making stars of many talented South African actors. Her passing is a huge loss to the industry. There will never be anyone like her. My sincere condolences go to her family and friends.”

Many, including veteran actor John Kani, took to social media to express sadness and pay their tributes.

Here is what they said: