Lee Strasberg Poster


Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (19)

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)

Trade Mark (2)

Teacher and managing director of the Actor's Studio for more than 30 years, especially well known for teaching "The Method."
His generally quiet, mild mannered persona

Trivia (19)

Legendary acting coach/director/actor, best known in the twenty-first century for three things: 1) his many decades as managing director and teacher at The Actor's Studio in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA; 2) his most famous acting role, "Hyman Roth," alongside one of his most famous students, Al Pacino; and 3) as primary heir and administrator of the estate of Marilyn Monroe, another of his most famous students (now administered by Lee Strasberg's wife/widow, Anna Strasberg.
Lee Strasberg's oldest son, John Strasberg, like his father, also teaches at the Actors' Studio, Manhattan, New York City, New York, but is not the managing director or administrator, as Lee was. Lee's roles as both managing director and administrator of the Actors' Studio are now filled by an incredible SIX people! Ellen Burstyn, Harvey Keitel, and Al Pacino serve as co-Presidents of the whole studio, both east, in Manhattan, and west, in West Hollywood, California, USA, and co-Artistic Directors in Manhattan, while Mark Rydell and Martin Landau serve as co-Artistic Directors in West Hollywood. The administrator, now known as the Executive Director is (as of 2015) filled by a professional, full time administrator, Deborah Dixon.
In her last will and testament, Marilyn Monroe left Strasberg total control of 75% of her estate, including the licensing of Monroe's image, in gratitude for his mentorship and kindness, both before and after she became a star. Today, Strasberg's widow, Anna Strasberg administers the combined estates, which earn millions of dollars in licensing fees annually, from advertisers or marketers use of Monroe's image, such as the long running J'adore Parfum line, co-starring the deceased Marilyn Monroe and the very much alive Charlize Theron.
Buried at Westchester Hills Cemetery in the village of Hastings-on-Hudson, Westchester County, New York, USA, a northern suburb (approximately 20 miles north of) New York City, where he is buried in a plot with his second wife, Paula Strasberg, who predeceased Lee by her early death at about 57 years old, in 1966. Westchester Hills is a Jewish cemetery, and many well-known entertainers and performers are interred there.
On February 13, 1982, Strasberg made what was both his final filmed appearance, and his final public appearance, at the Night of 100 Stars (1982) benefit for the Actors Fund at Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA, where, along with protégées Al Pacino and Robert De Niro, he danced in the chorus line with the world renowned The Radio City Rockettes.
October 27-28, 1999: Christie's auctioned the bulk of Marilyn Monroe's personal effects. In Monroe's last will and testament, she expressed a desire that Strasberg would "distribute (these) among my friends, colleagues and those to whom I am devoted." Having largely not accomplished distribution of Monroe's personal belongings to friends, etc., upon Strasberg's death, possession of Monroe's personal effects passed from Strasberg to his last wife, Anna Strasberg, who had never met Monroe. The Christie's auction of Monroe's possessions netted $12.3 million. Ironically, five years earlier, Anna Strasberg had declared that she would never sell Monroe's personal items after successfully suing Millington Conroy (nephew of Marilyn Monroe's business manager, Inez Conroy Melson) and Odyssey Auctions in 1994, preventing the sale of items which had been improperly withheld from Lee Strasberg by Monroe's former business manager, Inez Melson. Julien's staged a second auction of Monroe's personal effects in 2005.
Strasberg lost the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of mob financier Hyman Roth in The Godfather: Part II (1974) to Robert De Niro's portrayal of Young Vito Corleone in the same film.
Son of an innkeeper.
In 1909, at age 7, he emigrated with his family to the United States, although he did not become a citizen until 1936.
Lee Strasberg had 4 children: John Strasberg and Susan Strasberg with second wife Paula Strasberg; Adam Strasberg and David Lee Strasberg with his third, and last, wife Anna Strasberg.
According to actor Martin Landau, Strasberg was a hard taskmaster as an acting teacher, but Landau said regardless, Strasberg was always right in pushing an actor to deliver an excellent performance.
As the primary teacher and director of the Actors Studio for more than 30 years, he trained many of the great American actors: Al Pacino, Ben Gazzara, Martin Landau, Eli Wallach, Ellen Burstyn, etc. He never taught Marlon Brando, who made the "method" famous, although Brando did support 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 Walk of Fame, due to his strong link to New York City, nonetheless, 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, before inclusion of his 75% interest in the Estate of Marilyn Monroe.
Was the only Jewish actor to portray a Jewish gangster, the character of Hyman Roth, in the three film Godfather series. Previously, Jewish actors (James Caan, Abe Vigoda, Eli Wallach) had portrayed Italian mob figures, and Italian actors (Alex Rocco) had portrayed Jewish mob characters.

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