Known for movies

Short Info

DiedFebruary 17, 1982, New York City, New York, United States
SpouseAnna Strasberg, Paula Strasberg, Nora Krecaun Strasberg
MarkTeacher and managing director of the Actor's Studio for more than 30 years, especially well known for teaching "The Method."
FactSon of an innkeeper.

Lee Strasberg was an American actor, director, and theatre instructor who co-founded the Actor’s Studio in New York. He is considered one of the most influential figures in the development of method acting.

Born in Budzanów, Austria-Hungary (now Budzanów, Poland), Strasberg emigrated to the United States with his family at the age of nine. He began his acting career in the Yiddish theatre in New York before moving to Hollywood to pursue a career in film.

Strasberg’s first major role was in the film noir classic The Naked City (1948). He went on to appear in a number of films, including On the Waterfront (1954), The Godfather Part II (1974), and Superman (1978).

In addition to his work in film, Strasberg also had a successful career as a theatre director and instructor. He was the artistic director of the Actor’s Studio from its inception in 1947 until his death in 1982.

Strasberg’s students included some of the most successful actors of their generation, including Marlon Brando, James Dean, Paul Newman, and Marilyn Monroe.

Strasberg died of a heart attack in 1982 at the age of 80.

General Info

Full NameLee Strasberg
DiedFebruary 17, 1982, New York City, New York, United States
Height1.65 m
ProfessionActor, Film director, Acting Coach
EducationAmerican Laboratory Theatre


SpouseAnna Strasberg, Paula Strasberg, Nora Krecaun Strasberg
ChildrenSusan Strasberg, John Strasberg, David Lee Strasberg, Adam Strasberg
ParentsIda Diner, Baruch Meyer Strassberg
SiblingsZalmon Strassberg


NominationsAcademy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Golden Globe Award for Best New Star of the Year – Actor
MoviesSkokie, Going in Style, Boardwalk, ...And Justice for All, The Cassandra Crossing, The Godfather Part II, China Venture, The Third Man

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
1His generally quiet, mild mannered persona
2Teacher and managing director of the Actor's Studio for more than 30 years, especially well known for teaching "The Method."


1Was 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.
2When 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.
3Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 766-768. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
4Is portrayed by Lyle Kessler in James Dean (2001) and by Matthew O'Sullivan in Blonde (2001).
5Is portrayed by Dana Goldstone in Norma Jean & Marilyn (1996).
6One 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.
7He and protégé Al Pacino appeared together in two films: The Godfather: Part II (1974) and ...and justice for all. (1979).
8As 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.
9According 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.
10Lee 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.
11In 1909, at age 7, he emigrated with his family to the United States, although he did not become a citizen until 1936.
12Son of an innkeeper.
13Strasberg 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.
14October 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.
15On 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.
16Buried 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.
17In 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.
18Lee 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.
19Legendary 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.




Skokie1981TV MovieMorton Weisman
Going in Style1979Willie
Boardwalk1979David Rosen
...and justice for all.1979Grandpa Sam
The Last Tenant1978TV MovieFrank
The Godfather: A Novel for Television1977TV Mini-SeriesHyman Roth
The Cassandra Crossing1976Herman Kaplan
The Godfather: Part II1974Hyman Roth
China Venture1953Patterson
Parnell1937Pat (uncredited)


Tempo1965TV Series subject - 1 episode
Somewhere in the Night1946dialogue director - uncredited
Winged Victory1944dialogue director


Story with Two Endings1945Documentary short


Somewhere in the Night1946adaptation

Art Director

The Three Sisters1966


Biography1998TV Series documentaryHimself
American Masters1989TV Series documentaryHimself
Night of 100 Stars1982TV SpecialHimself
Acting: Lee Strasberg and the Actors Studio1981DocumentaryHimself
Good Morning America1981TV SeriesHimself
Film '721980TV SeriesHimself
Old Friends... New Friends1978TV Series documentaryHimself
The Paul Ryan Show1977TV SeriesHimself
The Mike Douglas Show1975-1977TV SeriesHimself - Acting Coach / Himself - Actor
Camera Three1967-1975TV SeriesHimself
New York, New York1975TV SeriesHimself
The 47th Annual Academy Awards1975TV SpecialHimself - Nominated: Best Actor in a Supporting Role
The Virginia Graham Show1970TV SeriesHimself
The David Frost Show1969TV SeriesHimself
The Group Theater, 1931-19401967TV MovieHimself
ABC Stage 671966TV SeriesHimself
The Legend of Marilyn Monroe1966DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
The Tonight Show1962TV SeriesHimself - Actor

Archive Footage

Love, Marilyn2012DocumentaryHimself
Marilyn Monroe: The Final Days2001TV Movie documentaryHimself
Marilyn in Manhattan1998TV MovieHimself
Reputations1997TV Series documentaryHimself
The Godfather Trilogy: 1901-19801992VideoHyman Roth
American Masters1991TV Series documentaryHimself
The Godfather Family: A Look Inside1990TV Movie documentaryHyman Roth (uncredited)


Won Awards

1980Pasinetti AwardVenice Film FestivalBest ActorGoing in Style (1979)
1977Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 27 November 1977. At 6757 Hollywood Blvd.

Nominated Awards

1975OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Supporting RoleThe Godfather: Part II (1974)
1975Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USAMost Promising Newcomer - MaleThe Godfather: Part II (1974)

3rd Place Awards

1974NYFCC AwardNew York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest Supporting ActorThe Godfather: Part II (1974)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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