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Sanford Meisner; Renowned Acting Teacher

February 05, 1997

Sanford Meisner, 91, an actor and venerated acting teacher and an original member of New York's Group Theatre. The innovative organization, which included Lee Strasberg, Elia Kazan and other theatrical leaders, was founded in 1931. Meisner appeared in 12 of its early productions including its first, "The House of Connelly." Meisner also acted on Broadway in "Embezzled," "Crime and Punishment" and "The Cold Wind and the Warm." In 1936 he became head of the acting department of New York's Neighborhood Playhouse. In 1990, public television aired a laudatory special about Meisner's half-century of teaching his craft, called "Sanford Meisner: The Theater's Best Kept Secret." Featured were many of Meisner's students, including Robert Duvall, Dustin Hoffman, Joanne Woodward, Gregory Peck, Suzanne Pleshette and Sydney Pollack. Two years ago Meisner founded a West Coast base, the Sanford Meisner Center for the Arts in North Hollywood. Brought up in Brooklyn, he studied piano at what is now the Juilliard School of Music, but quickly moved into acting. On Sunday in Sherman Oaks.

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