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Herbert Berghof

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Herbert Berghof
Berghof in Five Fingers (1952)
Born(1909-09-13)13 September 1909
Died5 November 1990(1990-11-05) (aged 81)
Years active1945–1990
(m. 1957)

Herbert Berghof (13 September 1909 – 5 November 1990) was an Austrian-American actor, director and acting teacher.[1]

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Early life

Born and educated in Vienna, Austria, Berghof studied acting there with Max Reinhardt.[1] In 1939, he moved to New York where he launched a career as an actor and director on Broadway, and worked with Lee Strasberg.[2] Berghof became a charter member of the Actors Studio in 1947, with classmates including Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Jerome Robbins, and Sidney Lumet.[3]


Berghof and Maria Riva in the Suspense episode "Death Drum" (1952)

In 1945, he co-founded HB Studio (the Herbert Berghof Studio) in New York City, as a place where aspiring actors could train and practice. In 1948, Uta Hagen joined the Studio as Berghof's artistic partner, and they married in 1957. They ran the studio together until his death in 1990.[2] Notable alumni included Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Liza Minnelli, Robert De Niro, Geraldine Page, Fritz Weaver, Anne Bancroft, Donna McKechnie and Matthew Broderick.[4][5] Despite being a charter member of the Actors Studio, he differed "with those colleagues who expounded the Method technique when his approach shifted to an emphasis on actions rather than thoughts and reactions."[4]

Stage appearances by Berghof included roles in Ibsen's The Lady from the Sea (1950), The Andersonville Trial (1959). Among his film appearances were 5 Fingers (1952), Red Planet Mars (1952), Fräulein (1958), Cleopatra (1963), An Affair of the Skin (1963), Harry and Tonto (1974), Voices (1979), Those Lips, Those Eyes (1980), Times Square (1980) and Target (1985). He directed the first Broadway production of Beckett's Waiting for Godot (1956).[1]


Described by The New York Times as "one of the nation's most respected acting teachers and coaches", he died of a heart ailment on 5 November 1990 at his home in Manhattan.[4]

Partial filmography


  1. ^ a b c Kennedy, Dennis. The Oxford Companion to Theatre and Performance, Oxford Univ. Press (2010) p. 61
  2. ^ a b Rosenfeld, Carol. Acting and Living in Discovery: A Workbook for the Actor, Hackett Publishing (2014) p. 120
  3. ^ Robert Lewis (1996) [1984]. "Actors Studio, 1947". Slings and Arrows: Theater in My Life. New York: Applause Books. p. 183. ISBN 1-55783-244-7. At the end of the summer, on Gadget's return from Hollywood, we settled the roster of actors for our two classes in what we called the Actors Studio – using the word 'studio' as we had when we named our workshop in the Group, the Group Theatre Studio... My group, meeting three times a week, consisted of Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift, Maureen Stapleton, Eli Wallach, Mildred Dunnock, Jerome Robbins, Herbert Berghof, Tom Ewell, John Forsythe, Anne Jackson, Sidney Lumet, Kevin McCarthy, Karl Malden, E.G. Marshall, Patricia Neal, Beatrice Straight, David Wayne, and – well, I don't want to drop names, so I'll stop there. In all, there were about fifty.
  4. ^ a b c Peter B. Flint. Herbert Berghof, Actor, Director And Eminent Acting Teacher, 81. The New York Times. Retrieved 27 October 2007.
  5. ^ Al Pacino & Lawrence Grobel (2006), Al Pacino in conversation with Lawrence Grobel, Simon & Schuster, ISBN 1-4169-1211-8, p. xix.

External links

This page was last edited on 28 July 2022, at 14:39
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