Robert Lewis

Robert Lewis, an actor, director and acting coach who co-founded the Actors Studio and taught such talents as Marlon Brando and Faye Dunaway there, died Nov. 23. He was 88.

Since it was founded by Lewis, Elia Kazan and Cheryl Crawford 50 years ago, the Actors Studio has had a powerful influence on theater as the epicenter of Method acting in America.

Guided by artistic director Lee Strasberg, it became a training ground for dozens of prominent American actors. Among Lewis’ own students were Dunaway, Brando, Montgomery Clift, Meryl Streep and Martin Sheen.

Born in 1909 in New York City, Lewis began his Broadway stage career in the 1930s. He later landed roles in several movies, including “Dragon Seed” with Katharine Hepburn and “Ziegfeld Follies” with Fred Astaire.

In the late 1940s, Lewis returned to Broadway as a director. His credits included Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People,” Truman Capote’s “The Grass Harp” and Agatha Christie’s “Witness for the Prosecution.”

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