Film industry

Margaret Doversola, key player in Hawaii’s TV and film industry, dies at 78

Margaret Doversola — a central figure in Hawaii’s television and film industry for more than three decades — died Friday at her East Honolulu residence. She was 78 years old.

Lane Doversola described her mother as “a haole with a British accent who loved Hawaii”.

“She didn’t have to stay here, especially after my dad died (in 2008), but she preferred Hawaii to any other place and she loved the people who lived here.”

Lane Doversola grew up alongside her mother. At age 4, she debuted as an extra in the original “Hawaii Five-0.”

“My favorite memory is that she gave advice to actors, performers and singers, as well as future professionals in the industry. She wanted to help people. If they just wanted to be writers or something (in the profession), she wanted to help. She always promoted local (talent) and she always pushed for equal pay for them, even though (shows) always paid more for hires on the mainland. She really, really pushed for the people And when a show needed extras as cops or first responders, it tried to have real cops and real first responders as the extras.

Born Margaret Jean Collard in Manchester, England, in the final year of World War II, she grew up in Australia from the age of 7. Margaret Doversola graduated with a degree in education from Brigham Young University of Hawaii in 1966. After a year as a teacher, she was inspired to change careers.

She spent a short time on the crew of Webley Edwards’ international radio show, “Hawaii Calls,” then became production secretary at “Hawaii Five-0.” Series star Jack Lord took note of her professionalism and hired her as a personal assistant.

In 1980, Doversola became assistant casting director for Hawaii’s next big television series, “Magnum, PI.” Three years later, she became the show’s casting director.

“Back then, if you were interested in pursuing a career in television, that was the person you went to,” Julia Nickson recalled on a call from Los Angeles. Nickson broke into television and film after arriving in Hawaii from Singapore to attend the University of Hawaii.

“We all knew we didn’t have the experience to be actors, but we wanted to learn more about the industry. Anyone who was anyone could become an extra, and she took care of extras as well as local actors, so you would always be dealing with Margaret,” Nickson said. “She would call you and give you your call time, where you would be and what to wear. We were always thrilled to get a call from Margaret and to be on set and learn things that we couldn’t learn in an acting class. She really gave us that opportunity.

In the decades that followed, Doversola cast actors in local and national commercials, major films and national television programs, including “Jake and the Fatman”, “The Byrds of Paradise”, “Baywatch”, ” Lost” and the reboot of “Hawaii Five”. -0. »

Doversola has contributed to the local film and television industry as an advisor and mentor to several generations of Hawaiian actors. She conducted workshops to help actors build their skills and also coordinated production work with members of the Teamsters Union and the International Alliance of Theater Employees, producers, directors and the occasional “mother of stage”.

She retired after completing the pilot episode for the “Hawaii Five-0” reboot in 2010.

“She really fought so hard for me to be governor of the new ‘Hawaii Five-0,'” Nickson said. “I went in and just read for her what she put on tape, and it went really well, and she was so excited that I was a contestant. I don’t know if (the producers ) watched my reel, but she was so adamant I had the best read and so passionate, she always stood up for her people.

Doversola is survived by her daughter.

The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. on July 16 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 219 Lunalilo Home Road in Hawaii Kai. A celebration of life will follow from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.