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Leah Daniels-Butler

C.S.A. / Casting Director

With an eye for talent, casting director and producer Leah Daniels-Butler is responsible for launching the careers of many of today’s most successful actors, including that of Gaborey Sidebe who was introduced to the world in her starring role in the Academy Award winning filmPrecious”. Leah’s selection of the young starlet proved to be a good one as Sidebe’s career has continued to thrive. Leah got her start in the early 90’s working as a casting assistant to legendary casting director and mentor Jaki Brown and Kimberly Hardin where she assisted in casting actor/recording artist “TyreseGibson in the Coca-Cola ad that ultimately launched his career. He too would embark upon a promising career and go on to star in two extremely successful movie franchises, “Transformers” & “Fast & Furious”.

Additionally, Leah is credited for her work on film classics like “CB4” starring Chris Rock, “The Inkwell” with Larenz Tate and the cult classic “Friday” starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker. It was in the mid 90’s, when doors began to fly open and Leah after landing the coveted position as assistant to Leslie Litt, Senior VP of Casting at Warner Brothers (WBTV). Leah’s work ethic and reputation for “getting the job done” quickly spread among black filmmakers and throughout the entire entertainment industry making her the “It Girl” of casting. It wasn’t long before she would rise in rank to become the casting executive! In this elevated space she worked on award-winning projects such as “Friends” starring Jennifer Anniston and “Suddenly Susan” starring Brooke Shields. Both shows earned Primetime Emmy Awards for acting roles. During her tenure at Warner Brothers, Leah also cast “The Wayans Brothers” and “For Your Love,” which received six NAACP Image Awards nominations. An Entrepreneur at heart and armed with her God given talent, years of experience, a good reputation and strong relationships, Leah leaves WBTV and starts LDB Casting, the company she owns and operates today located at Gower studios.

As an independent casting director, Leah works across genres securing talent for films like “2 Fast 2 Furious,” “Shadow Boxer,” “ATL,” and “The Paperboy,” which featured an all-star cast that included: Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron, John Cusack, Macy Grey and David Oyelowo. In 2013, Leah cast the award-winning film “The Butler” with another all-star line-up that included: Oprah Winfrey, Forrest Whitaker, Liev Shreiber, Robin Williams, James Marsden, John Cusack, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard and rising star YaYa DaCosta.

Among her many accolades, Leah is the recipient of the Hamilton Award for Outstanding Casting for her work on “The Butler,” she also earned the Casting Society of America’s “Outstanding Achievement in Casting for a Television Drama” award for her work on “Empire.” Leah served on the board of directors for CSA 2016 & 2017 and was the only African American board member at the time. In 2017, she was elected to be on the Casting Peer Group Committee for the Television Academy.

Passionate about the fight for equality and diversity in the industry, Leah’s voice has been heard on several platforms, advocating, giving commentary and leading discussions centered around diversity and inclusion, including going all the way to Capitol Hill in 2017, to address the issues concerning the lack of roles for actors with disabilities. In that same year, Leah was honored by Variety Magazine and recognized in their inclusion impact report.

Leah capped off a very successful year with the announcement that she along with music executive and producer husband, Henry “Black” Butler founded the 1Oneninety5 Media Group (named to commemorate their wedding date). The 1Oneninety5 Media Group, is a global, full service multimedia company leading through innovative platforms and diverse industry partnerships. The powerhouse husband and wife duo has formed a team of high performing execs with unparalleled experience in the areas of Business admin, marketing, production and finance to help bring the vision to life.

Up Close and Personal with Leah Daniels-Butler

Leah is the younger sister of Academy-Award-nominated director Lee Daniels and the wife of music exec and producer Henry “Black” Butler. The two have been married for 27 years and are the proud parents of five. The couple currently resides in Southern California.

When she’s not busy helping to shape the many fictional characters, international audiences have come to know and love, Leah dedicates her time to helping shape the futures of real women in her community who need second chances. She sits on the Board Of Directors the A New Way to Life ReEntry Project, an organization that provides housing and support to formerly incarcerated women in South Central Los Angeles.

As an advocate for community and family, both Leah & Henry roll up their sleeves each year during the holiday season to help assemble and distribute toys and food vouchers to hundreds of ultra-low-income families in crisis with children, hosted by the New Image Emergency Shelter.