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Lee Strasberg

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Lee Strasberg (November 17, 1901February 17, 1982) was an actor and acting teacher, born in Budanov (near Chortkiv or Buchach), Galicia, Austria-Hungary to Ida and Baruch Meyer Strasberg.

In 1931, he became one of the co-founders of the Group Theatre, a company which numbered such legends as Elia Kazan, John Garfield, Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner, Franchot Tone, and Robert Lewis. In 1949, he began a lengthy career at the Actors Studio in New York City. Within two years, he was artistic director and the now-renowned institution's reputation flourished. Actors under his tutelage there included Geraldine Page, Paul Newman, Al Pacino, Kim Stanley, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Fonda, James Dean, Dustin Hoffman, Eli Wallach, Eva Marie Saint, Robert DeNiro, Jill Clayburgh, Jack Nicholson, and Steve McQueen. In 1966, he took the Actors Studio west and founded a Los Angeles branch. In 1969, he began the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute in the same city.

While rarely stepping in front of the camera himself (he acted in only 8 films), his most famous role was surely that of Hyman Roth in The Godfather: Part II. Playing an elderly Jewish organized crime figure retired to Miami and overlord of criminal enterprise in Cuba, he encounters the wrath of Michael Corleone – played by Strasberg's former student Al Pacino – resulting in his assassination. For this performance, Strasberg received an Academy Award nomination. His legacy remains strong today, as he was one of the patriarchs of "method acting."

Married to the actress and drama coach Paula Strasberg from 1934 until her death in 1966, they were the parents of the actress Susan Strasberg.

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