Legendary Talent Spotter Boaty Boatwright Recalls Casting ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ and Her Pal Sue Mengers

Over the course of her legendary career, Alice Lee “Boaty” Boatwright has cast iconic movies, served as a studio exec and repped starry talent including Joan Didion, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward.

Reflecting on it today, she says her career really took off after a pivotal encounter at Sardi’s restaurant more than 60 years ago.

Sitting with her friend Sue Mengers, not yet the legendary agent she would become, Boatwright jumped out of her seat and grabbed Alan Pakula, whom she had never met.“I have to find you Scout,” Boatwright, then a young publicist at Universal, informed Pakula.

She knew that he and Robert Mulligan had recently secured the film rights to Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” for the studio.The following day, after a conversation with her boss, Boatwright had lunch with Pakula and Mulligan.

Her Southern background and charm won the producing-directing duo over, and

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