John Sarno, Acting Teacher and Actor, Dies at 75

John Sarno acting teacher dead
Courtesy of Tracey McFarlin

John Anthony Sarno, a noted acting teacher in Hollywood and New York whose students included Margaret Avery, Daryl Hannah, Tracy Britton, Oliver Stone and Annie Potts, died December 25 after a battle with cancer. He was 75.

Before becoming an acting teacher, Sarno had a lengthy acting career himself and studied under and lived with his mentor, actor and legendary acting teacher Lee Strasberg.

Sarno performed on Broadway, acting as Billy Bibbit in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” He moved from New York to Los Angeles to star in his breakthrough role, Jerry Griffith, in the film “The Seven Minutes,” directed by Russ Meyer. Sarno drew a Golden Globe Award nomination for most promising newcomer for his performance.

During the 1970s and ’80s Sarno made guest appearances on TV shows including “Baretta,” “Medical Center” and “Kojak,” later guesting on “NYPD Blue” in 1997.

He appeared in the 2007 film “Zodiac” and this past year was cast in the film “Monday at 11:01 A.M.,” which will soon be released this year.

Sarno was also a longtime friend of director Elia Kazan, who gave him his first Equity Card.

Sarno often said, “The process I learned from the members of the Actors Studio, and I am thankful to them and God for their purity, honesty and love of the art.”



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