Kelly-Grant worked for Disney for more than 14 years, most recently as VP, Casting, ABC
Disney has named Brenda Kelly-Grant as SVP, Casting and Talent Relations of Disney Branded Television. She will succeed Judy Taylor, who will retire at the end of the year after a career that has spanned nearly half a century.
In her new role, Kelly-Grant will oversee the casting and talent relations for the unit’s live-action scripted pilots, series and movies on Disney+ and Disney Channels. She’ll also develop and execute strategies for Disney Branded Television talent’s off-air appearances that promote related content and brands.
Reporting to Kelly-Grant are Cornelia Frame, VP, Casting and Talent Relations; Leah Buono, VP, Casting; and Kimberly McCollum, director, Casting, and their respective teams.
For 24 years, Taylor has led casting and talent at Disney Channel. She was responsible for launching the careers of some of Hollywood’s most popular young stars including Miley Cyrus for Hannah Montana, Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale and Vanessa Hudgens for High School Musical, Zendaya for KC Undercover and Olivia Rodrigo for Bizaardvark and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.
Speaking about the appointment, Ayo Davis, president, Disney Branded Television said: “We’re fortunate to have the benefit of two outstanding Casting executives as the baton is passed. Judy has made enormous contributions to Disney, and her expertise and leadership have been invaluable throughout the years. She’s been an important and joyful part of my tenure here, and our entire team will miss her and wishes her the very best. Brenda has a deep appreciation for the talent that brings our stories to life, she’s a wonderful collaborator with the experience and intuition necessary to lead the casting process, and she’s the right person to build on the legacy that Judy created. I know she’ll inspire the entire team and create the optimal experience for a wide array of acting talent working with us now and in years to come.”
Gary Marsh, president and chief creative officer, Disney Branded Television, added: “There are few people in the annals of our history who have played a more pivotal role in creating the legacy of Disney Channel. Judy just marked her 48th year in Casting — from ‘Goonies’ and ‘Back to the Future’ to more than 100 iconic Disney Channel Original Movies and series. She is the best partner a team of creatives could ever dream of, and I know Brenda will continue to build on that partnership.”