Robi Reed is one of the top casting directors in the film and TV industry, placing actors and actresses in roles for over three decades. She is the first African-American to be nominated for, and also win, an Emmy Award in the Casting category.

Reed was born in Mount Vernon, N.Y., but raised in Los Angeles, Calif. As a young girl, she befriended Tracey Davis, whose famous father was the late Sammy Davis, Jr. This early exposure to the elite world of entertainment turned into a hobby and a career pursuit, with Reed learning all she could about the inner workings of the film and TV biz.

The hard work and study culminated with Reed landing an assistant job on the set of the 1985 spy drama thriller, “The Falcon and The Snowman.” Three years later, Spike Lee named her the casting director for his HBCU-themed film, “School Daze,” leading to a bevy of lead casting gigs for shows such as “In Living Color,” “A Different World,” “Roc,” Oprah Winfrey’s “Their Eyes Were Watching God” among a host of other notable shows and films.

Reed’s historic Emmy win occurred in 1997 for her work in casting HBO’s “The Tuskegee Airmen,” which starred Laurence Fishburne, Courtney B. Vance, and Cuba Gooding, Jr. She also served as the casting director for BET’s “The New Edition Story” and “The Bobby Brown Story.”

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