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Lee Strasberg Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (18)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 17 November 1901Budzanów, Galicia, Austria-Hungary [now Budaniv, Ukraine]
Date of Death 17 February 1982New York City, New York, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameIsrael Lee Strassberg
Height 5' 5" (1.65 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Famed acting teacher Lee Strassberg was born in Budzanov, Austria-Hungary (now Budanov, Ukraine). Brought to America as a child, he had a brief acting career, before becoming one of the founders of the Group Theatre in 1931, directing a number of plays there. His greatest influence, however, was through the Actors Studio, where he became director in 1950. A proponent of "method" acting, which he adapted from the "system" brought to America by Konstantin Stanislavski's disciple--and Marlon Brando's mentor--Stella Adler, he influenced several generations of actors, from James Dean to Dustin Hoffman. Film audiences would know him best as gangster Hyman Roth in The Godfather: Part II (1974).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: christiandoig

Spouse (3)

Anna Strasberg (12 January 1968 - 17 February 1982) (his death) (2 children)
Paula Strasberg (11 March 1935 - 29 April 1966) (her death) (2 children)
Nora Z. Krecaum (29 October 1926 - 25 November 1929) (her death)

Trivia (18)

Acting coach/actor/director
Son, John Strasberg, also teaches at the Actors' Studio in New York City where Strasberg taught.
In her final will, Marilyn Monroe left Strasberg total control of 75% of her estate, including the licensing of her image as gratitude for his mentorship and kindness before and after she became a star. Today, Strasberg's widow administers the estate which earns millions of dollars in licensing fees whenever an advertiser or manufacturer uses Monroe's image.
Buried at Westchester Hills (NY) Cemetery.
13 February 1982: Made his last public appearance at the "Night of 100 Stars" benefit for the Actors Fund at Radio City Music Hall. Along with proteges Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, he danced in the chorus line with the Rockettes.
27-28 October 1999: Christie's auctioned the bulk of Marilyn Monroe's personal effects. In her will, she expressed her desire that Strasberg, or, if he predeceased her, her executor, "distribute (these) among my friends, colleagues and those to whom I am devoted." He willed them to Anna, who never met her; the auction netted $12.3 million. Ironically, she declared that she would never sell Monroe's personal items after successfully suing Odyssey Auctions in 1994 from preventing the sale of items which were withheld from Strasberg by Monroe's former business manager, Inez Melson. Julien's staged a second auction of Monroe's personal effects in 2005.
Lost the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for The Godfather: Part II (1974) to Robert De Niro, who won for his performance in the same film.
Son of an innkeeper.
Emigrated with his family to the United States at age 7, but did not become a citizen until 1936.
Had 4 children: John and Susan by Paula Strasberg; Adam Strasberg and David Lee Strasberg by Anna Strasberg.
According to actor Martin Landau, Strasberg was a hard taskmaster as far as an acting teacher, but Landau said regardless, Strasberg was always right in pushing an actor to deliver an excellent performance.
Teacher and director of the Actors Studio, he trained many of the great American actors: Al Pacino, Ben Gazzara, Martin Landau, Eli Wallach, etc. He never taught Marlon Brando, who made the "method" famous, although he supported the Studio and regularly attended its formal and informal functions.
He and protégé Al Pacino appeared together in two films: The Godfather: Part II (1974) and ...And Justice for All. (1979).
One of the more unlikely people to be honored by the Hollywood Hall of Fame due to his strong link to New York City, Lee Strasberg's star is located at 6757 Hollywood Blvd.
Is portrayed by Dana Goldstone in Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996).
Is portrayed by Lyle Kessler in James Dean (2001) and by Matthew O'Sullivan in Blonde (2001).
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 766-768. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
When he died in 1982, he left an estate valued at $1.5 million, outside of his 75% interest in the Estate of Marilyn Monroe.

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