Lee Strasberg

Lee Strasberg

Ternopil's'ka, Ukraine
Death 17 Feb 1982 (aged 80)
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Burial Hastings-on-Hudson, Westchester County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 993 · View Source
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Actor, Director, and Acting Instructor. He cofounded, with directors Harold Clurman and Cheryl Crawford, the Group Theatre in 1931, which was hailed as "America's first true theatrical collective". Considered the "father of method acting in America," he revolutionized the art of acting by having a profound influence on performance in American theater and movies. From his base in New York City, New York, he trained several generations of theatre and film's most illustrious talents, including Barbra Streisand, Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Montgomery Clift, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Fonda, Julie Harris, Paul Newman, Ellen Burstyn, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Academy Award-winning director Elia Kazan. Born Israel Strassberg in Budzanow, Austria-Hungary (now Budaniv, in Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine) to Jewish parents, he was the youngest of three sons. His father emigrated to New York City, and obtained a job working as a presser in the garment industry while his family remained in their home village with an uncle, a rabbinical teacher. By 1909 the rest of the family emigrated to New York City and they lived on Manhattan's Lower East Side. Despite being a straight-A student, he dropped out of high school and became interested in the theater while working as a shipping clerk and bookkeeper for a wig company. At age 23 he enrolled in the Clare Tree Major School of the Theater, eventually leaving there to study at the American Laboratory Theater. In 1925 he made his first professional appearance in "Processional," a play produced by the Theater Guild of New York. After gaining a reputation with the Theater Guild, he helped form the Group Theater in New York in 1931 and created a technique which became known as "the Method" or "method acting." In 1951 he became the leader of the Actors Studio (first created in 1947) as its artistic director. In 1966 he established Actors Studio West in Los Angeles, California and in 1969 he founded the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York City and Los Angeles. His Broadway credits include "The Vegetable" (1929), "Green Grow the Lilacs" (1931), "Johnny Johnson" (1936), "Golden Boy" (1937), "Clash by Night" (1941), "Apology" (1943), "Skipper Next to God" (1948), "The Closing Door" (1949), "Peer Gynt" (1951), "Strange Interlude" (1963), and "The Three Sisters" (1964). Although he remained primarily as a stage performer and director, he did appear in a number feature films such as "Storm in a Teacup" (1937), "The Third Man" (1949), "China Venture" (1953), "The Gun Runners" (1958), The Godfather Part II (1974, which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role as 'Hyman Roth'), "The Cassandra Crossing" (1976), "...And Justice for All" (1979), "Going in Style" (1979, and "Boardwalk" (1979). He died in New York City, New York from a heart attack at the age of 80. Prior to his death he was elected to the American Theater Hall of Fame. He was married three times, first to Nora Krecaum (1926 until her death in 1929), then to former stage actress and coach Paula Miller (1934 until her death in 1966), and finally to Anna Mizrahi (1967 until his death). He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to films. In 2012 his family donated his library of personal papers to the Library of Congress. He is the father of actress Susan Strasberg and director John Strasberg.

Bio by: William Bjornstad

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Thus you live on high and then
On the earth you live again.
Thus you teach us every day,
Wisdom though fled far away.
John Keats


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 993
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Lee Strasberg (17 Nov 1901–17 Feb 1982), Find a Grave Memorial no. 993, citing Westchester Hills Cemetery, Hastings-on-Hudson, Westchester County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .