"My advice is no matter what part of the business you're in, learn that aspect of the business but also create something for yourself."
About This Interview
In his three-hour-and-forty-minute Archive interview, Reuben Cannon talks about his early years and moving to Los Angeles, where he took a job in the Universal mailroom. He recalls moving up at Universal into the casting department and becoming the first African-American casting director. Cannon helped cast Ironside, Emergency!, The Rockford Files, and Baretta, and worked with Alex Haley on casting Roots: The Next Generations. Cannon discusses forming his own company, Reuben Cannon & Associates, and outlines casting Bruce Willis in Moonlighting, Michael J. Fox in Palmerstown U.S.A., and Oprah Winfrey in "The Color Purple," which led to him later casting her in the miniseries The Women of Brewster Place. Cannon also describes his long-time working relationship with Stephen J. Cannell and casting The A-Team and The Greatest American Hero. He talks about becoming a producer, and later going to work with Tyler Perry, producing his feature films as well as his TBS series House of Payne. Adrienne Faillace conducted the interview on October 17, 2014 in North Hollywood, CA.