Mario Siletti

Mario Siletti, 65, an actor and acting teacher who trained with Stella Adler and taught at her studio for 25 years, died Jan. 7 in New York of pneumonia.

In 1974 he founded National Shakespeare Conservatory with Albert Schoemann and the late Philip Meister. Siletti served as master acting teacher in Shakespeare and as a board member until his death.

Siletti began acting at age 4 in Italian productions on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. His father, Mario Siletti Sr., founded the Italian Theater in New York. The younger Siletti studied in Paris and London before being put under contract at MGM.

He returned to New York to study with Adler and act in New York productions. Siletti created the role of Uncle Oscar in the original New York production of “Little Mary Sunshine.” In television, he appeared on “Camera Three” and the “Esso Repertory Theater.”

As both actor and director, Siletti worked in regional productions at the McCarter Theater, the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival and the Seattle Repertory. A musicologist, he also directed productions at the Metropolitan Opera Studio.

His longtime companion was Robert P. Smith.

A memorial service will be held Feb. 1 at 3 p.m. at the Jean Cocteau Repertory Theater, 330 Bowery. It will be followed by a reception at 5 p.m. at the National Shakespeare Conservatory, 591 Broadway.

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