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Legit thesp Gordon dies

Performer also taught acting for 20 years

Thesp-teacher Mark Gordon died of lung cancer Aug. 12 in New York City. He was 84.

As an actor, Gordon appeared in more than 30 plays on and Off Broadway; his Broadway credits include the 1975 revival “Of Mice and Men” with James Earl Jones, “The Devils” with Anne Bancroft and a 1952 staging of “Desire Under the Elm.” Off Broadway he played the lead in “Adaptation/Next,” written by Elaine May, “The Iceman Cometh” and “Wedding in Japan.”

He also directed “Before You Go” on Broadway.

Gordon appeared in Woody Allen films such as “Sleeper,” “Take the Money and Run” and “Don’t Drink the Water.” On TV he had roles on numerous soap operas, including “The Edge of Night” and “All My Children.” He guest starred on several primetime shows over his career, including ‘Hawaii 5-0″ and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

He served as workshop director in the 1950s for the Compass Players (which later became Second City), where he worked alongside Mike Nichols and May. Gordon was an acting coach for the Center Opera Company at Minneapolis’ Guthrie Theater taught privately for more than 20 years and was a visiting professor at Carnegie Mellon U., Finch College and Columbia U.

Survivors include a son, helmer-scribe Keith Gordon, and a sister.

Donations may be made to the Lung Cancer Alliance at lungcanceralliance.org.