Leah Daniels Butler is a casting director and producer responsible for launching the careers of talented actors like Gaborey Sidebey, star of the Academy Award winning film “Precious”, and other notables. She currently serves as Casting Director for television’s #1 show, “Empire” on FOX.
Leah began her career as a Casting Assistant in 1991 working for legendary casting director and mentor Jaki Brown, and Kimberly Hardin. At the agency, she assisted in casting Tyrese Gibson, helping to place the actor/recording artist in the Coca~Cola ad that launched his career, which now includes two blockbuster movie franchises (“Transformers” & “Fast & Furious”). Climbing the casting ladder, Leah also assisted on films like “CB4” starring Chris Rock, “The Inkwell” with Larenz Tate and the cult classic “Friday” starring Ice Cube and Chris Tucker. Leah’s work ethic and reputation for “getting the job done” quickly spread among Black filmmakers and in the mainstream Television space.
In 1994, Leah landed a coveted casting position as the assistant to Leslie Litt, Senior VP of Casting at Warner Brothers. Within two years Leah earned a promotion to Casting Executive and began working on award winning projects like “Friends” 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.
In 2001, Leah left WBTV to start LDB Casting, the company she owns and operates today. 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 showcased 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., Terrance Howard and rising stars David Oyelowo and YaYa DeCosta.
The younger sister of Academy Award nominee director Lee Daniels; Leah’s newest venture that she is currently working on with her husband and one of her sons, is His and Hers production company.
Married to music executive and producer Henry Butler for 20 years, Leah is the mother of five wonderful children and currently resides in the Southern California area.