Mick Dowd

Mick was born in Park City but grew up in Midvale.

At the age of 5 he started singing weekly on Saturday morning kid’s TV shows which continued for the next 5 years. The Deseret News named Mick as one of the pioneers of Salt Lake television.

At the age of 10, Mick won a local talent contest and was flown to NYC to compete in the Ted Mack Amateur Hour, a weekly 1950’s national television show that is the equivalent of “America’s Got Talent” and won. Soon after a call from Disney Studios brought Mick to California to perform with the Mouseketeers.

In addition to performing, he also loved being a Boy Scout. Naturally athletic, Mick played Little League Baseball in grade school and later as a sophomore he was on the high school football and wrestling teams.

As a senior at Hillcrest, he was the first Student Body Vice President. Along with President Hal Hale, Secretary Judy Thurber Fairbourn and Historian Paula Larson Thomas, they formed the first student body government of Hillcrest. Many of their accomplishments live on today such as their choice of Huskies for the school mascot and the school anthem whose music and lyrics were written by Mick’s sister Donna Dowd and Leo Dean.

In 1962, two students from each high school in Utah were selected to attend The Freedom Academy, a state sponsored oranization which promotes the ideals and principals of the United States of America. Mick was given the honor of representing Hillcrest High.

After graduation at the age of 17, Mick joined the Utah national Guard. Once his six months active duty was completed, he returned home to attend the University of Utah where he majored in music and history. During his summer breaks from the University and The National Guard, Mick would head to California where he would work as a singer at Disneyland’s Golden Horseshoe Review.

At 21, Mick moved to California and was picked by a singing group that performed throughout the US with popular television and movie stars. After 9 month of of traveling the country, he began his full-time singing career as a soloist. Mick began appearing on many late night and daytime talk shows popular at the time such as The Tonight Show, The Merv Griffin Show, The Mike Douglas Show, The Steve Allan Show, and the Dean martin Variety Show, to name a few. He worked in Las Vegas and sang with stars like Ann-Margret, Sammy Davis Jr, Paul Anka, Mitzi Gaynor, Florence Henderson, Bob Hope, Herb Albert, The Pointer Sisters, Sonny & Cher, and others.

At the age of 32 he left his career as a singer behind when he was offered the opportunity to become a television producer where he produced some of TV’s most iconic television commercials in Los Angeles and New York. A few years later Mick was recruited to become an agent at one of Hollywood’s top talent agencies where he represented some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

Being a performer, producer, and agent helped hone his skills of recognizing talent in others and eventually directors began to recognize Mick’s skill and ability to find outstanding talent for the TV, film, and commercial projects.

Over the next 37 years he built a casting company that was not only successful but respected as well, helping to mentor and give some of Hollywood’s biggest actors their start in the business. He was honored that his casting company cast one of Hollywood’s all-time greatest basketball movies “Hoosiers.”

In addition to his career as a casting director he was most proud of his work as a volunteer for many organizations including children’s hospitals and The Special Olympics, which was headed by his lifelong friend and Olympic gold medalist Rafer Johnson.

Mick has always felt that everything in his life fell into place because he gained knowledge from everything he did. He always maintained that the key ingredients to a happy life are having a positive attitude, great friends, and a sense of humor, which he learned from his time at Hillcrest. He compared it to growing up in a good home that was always filled with support and love.

Acceptance Statement

I would like to thank the Alumni Association and my dear friend Christine Loulias Smith for nominating me. I was so beyond flattered to get this award. But I really want to share it with my graduation class. I had so many good friends and a lot of them I went from kindergarten through college with and we had a great time. That first year we were lucky enough to start our own new traditions like the school mascot, which was the Hillcrest Huskies, the first school song, and the first student body government. I would like to add some words of encouragement; I, as unbelievable as this is going to sound, was a very average student, but I always believed that I was going to be happy and that I was going to be successful and I never waivered on that belief. In my life, everything kind of fell in place. I also, as my friends will tell you , I love to laugh. Laughter, to me, will get you through the most challenging of times. You will survive just like I did and you will thrive. Thanks again. This is a great bookend to a truly wonderful life.