Adler in the 1950 film D.O.A.
May 4, 1903
New York City, U.S.
|Died||December 8, 1984 81) (aged|
Kutztown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
(m. 1938;div. 1946)
(m. 1959;died 1984)
Luther Adler (born Lutha Adler;May 4, 1903 – December 8, 1984) was an American actor best known for his work in theatre, but who also worked in film and television. He also directed plays on Broadway.
Adler was born on May 4, 1903, in New York City. He was one of the six children of Russian Jewish actors Sara and Jacob P. Adler. His father was considered to be one of the founders of the Yiddish theatre in America.His siblings also worked in theatre; his sister Stella Adler achieved fame as an actress and drama teacher. His brother Jay also achieved some renown as an actor.
Adler's father gave him his first acting job in the Yiddish play, Schmendrick, at the Thalia Theatre in Manhattan in 1908; Adler was then 5 years old.His first Broadway plays were The Hand of the Potter in 1921; Humoresque in 1923; Monkey Talks in 1925; Money Business and We Americans in 1926; John in 1927; Red Rust (or Rust) and Street Scene in 1929.
In 1931 Adler became one of the original members of the Group Theatre (New York), a New York City theatre collective formed by Cheryl Crawford, Harold Clurman, and Lee Strasberg. The founders, as well as the actors in the group, "tended to hold left-wing political views and wanted to produce plays that dealt with important social issues."The collective lasted for ten years, had twenty productions, and served as an inspiration for many actors, directors, and playwrights who came after it. During those years, the Group's members included Luther, Luther's sister and brother, Stella Adler and Jay Adler, Elia Kazan, John Garfield, Paul Green (playwright), Howard Da Silva, Harry Morgan (billed as Harry Bratsburg), Franchot Tone, John Randolph, Joseph Bromberg, Michael Gordon, Will Geer, Clifford Odets and Lee J. Cobb. Elia Kazan considered Adler to be the best actor working in the company.
In 1932 Adler starred in John Howard Lawson's, Success Story and garnered rave reviews for his performance.In 1933 Adler briefly joined the Katherine Cornell Company, playing opposite Cornell in Alien Corn, but in 1934 he returned to the Group and played alongside his sister Stella in Gold Eagle Guy . Gold Eagle Guy was not popular with audiences and had a short run. Adler had suspected the play would not succeed, remarking, shortly before it opened, "Boys, I think we're working on a stiff." Adler went on to appear in Group Theatre (New York) productions: Awake and Sing! and Paradise Lost (both 1935), and he performed with Frances Farmer in Golden Boy (1937). He also appeared in Kurt Weill's anti-war musical Johnny Johnson (1936) and originated the role of Captain Joshua in the 1939 Group Theater production of Thunder Rock. "By the late 1930s... the cohesiveness of the group began to crumble. The chronic financial problems and long-simmering disputes about 'the method' began to chip away at their solidarity... and in 1941 the group dissolved."
By the early 1940s, Adler began to direct, but his first production They Should Have Stood in Bed closed after only 11 performances in 1942. His next directorial venture, A Flag Is Born , ran for 120 performances in 1946 and featured newcomer Marlon Brando in one of the major roles. In 1965, when Zero Mostel left the Broadway cast of Fiddler on the Roof during a contract dispute, Adler took over the role of Tevye.
In 1937 Adler began to appear in films, although they were never his highest priority. His credits included Cornered (1945), Wake of the Red Witch (1948), House of Strangers (1949), D.O.A. (1949), The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951) (appearing as Hitler), and M (1951). During the 1950s Luther Adler was among the directors and actors who were blacklisted. [ circular reference ] He later appeared in Voyage of the Damned (1976) and Absence of Malice (1981).
He also acted frequently on television in such programs as the anthology series, Crossroads , General Electric Theater , Kraft Television Theater and Robert Montgomery Presents . He guest-starred in 1960 in the science fiction fantasy series, The Twilight Zone as the poor pawnbroker Arthur Castle, with Vivi Janiss as his wife Edna, in the episode entitled "The Man in the Bottle." in the story line, a genie offers the couple four wishes which do not lead to happiness. He was also cast in episodes of The Untouchables , Ben Casey , 77 Sunset Strip , Mission: Impossible , Hawaii Five-O , most notably in the series' only three-part episode "'V' for Vashon", The Streets of San Francisco , Naked City and Route 66 .
Adler was married to actress Sylvia Sidney from 1938 until 1946 and was the father of Sidney's only child, her son Jacob, who predeceased her.
A lifelong Democrat, he, and his siblings, supported the campaign of Adlai Stevenson during the 1952 presidential election.
He died in Kutztown, Pennsylvania,and was buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery, Glendale, New York, next to several of his relatives, including his older sister Stella.
Uta Thyra Hagen was an American actress and theatre practitioner. She originated the role of Martha in the 1962 Broadway premiere of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee, who called her "a profoundly truthful actress". Because Hagen was on the Hollywood blacklist, in part because of her association with Paul Robeson, her film opportunities dwindled and she focused her career on New York theatre.
Jerry Ross was an American lyricist and composer whose works with Richard Adler for the musical theater include The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees, winners of Tony Awards in 1955 and 1956, respectively, in both the "Best Musical" and "Best Composer and Lyricist" categories.
Clifford Odets was an American playwright, screenwriter, and director. In the mid-1930s he was widely seen as the potential successor to Nobel Prize-winning playwright Eugene O'Neill, as O'Neill began to withdraw from Broadway's commercial pressures and increasing critical backlash. From January 1935 Odets' socially relevant dramas were extremely influential, particularly for the remainder of the Great Depression. His works inspired the next several generations of playwrights, including Arthur Miller, Paddy Chayefsky, Neil Simon, and David Mamet. After the production of his play Clash by Night in the 1941–'42 season, Odets focused his energies primarily on film projects, remaining in Hollywood for the next seven years. He returned to New York in 1948 for five and a half years, during which time he produced three more Broadway plays, only one of which was a success. His prominence was eventually eclipsed by Miller, Tennessee Williams, and in the early- to mid-1950s, by William Inge.
The Group Theatre was a theater collective based in New York City and formed in 1931 by Harold Clurman, Cheryl Crawford and Lee Strasberg. It was intended as a base for the kind of theatre they and their colleagues believed in— a forceful, naturalistic and highly disciplined artistry. They were pioneers of what would become an "American acting technique", derived from the teachings of Konstantin Stanislavski, but pushed beyond them as well. The company included actors, directors, playwrights, and producers. The name "Group" came from the idea of the actors as a pure ensemble; a reference to the company as "our group" led them to "accept the inevitable and call their company The Group Theatre."
Lee Strasberg was a Polish-born American actor, director, and theatre practitioner. He co-founded, with directors Harold Clurman and Cheryl Crawford, the Group Theatre in 1931, which was hailed as "America's first true theatrical collective". In 1951 he became director of the nonprofit Actors Studio in New York City, considered "the nation's most prestigious acting school," and in 1966 he was involved in the creation of Actors Studio West in Los Angeles.
Stella Adler was an American actress and acting teacher. She founded the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City in 1949. Later in life she taught part time in Los Angeles, with the assistance of protégée, actress Joanne Linville, who continues to teach Adler's technique. Her grandson Tom Oppenheim now runs the school in New York City, which has produced alumni such as Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Elaine Stritch, Kate Mulgrew, Kipp Hamilton, and Jenny Lumet.
Johnny Johnson is a musical with a book and lyrics by Paul Green and music by Kurt Weill.
Cheryl Crawford was an American theatre producer and director.
Harold Edgar Clurman was an American theatre director and drama critic, "one of the most influential in the United States". He was most notable as one of the three founders of New York City's Group Theatre (1931–1941). He directed more than 40 plays in his career and, during the 1950s, was nominated for a Tony Award as director for several productions. In addition to his directing career, he was drama critic for The New Republic (1948–52) and The Nation (1953–1980), helping shape American theater by writing about it. Clurman wrote seven books about the theatre, including his memoir The Fervent Years: The Group Theatre and the Thirties (1961).
Jay Adler was an American actor in theater, television, and film.
Robert Lewis was an American actor, director, teacher, author and founder of the influential Actors Studio in New York in 1947.
Awake and Sing! is a drama written by American playwright Clifford Odets. The play was initially produced by The Group Theatre in 1935.
Mary Janice Rule was an American actress "at her most convincing playing embittered, neurotic socialites".
Jerry Adler is an American theatre director, and producer, and television and film actor. He is perhaps best known for his work as Herman "Hesh" Rabkin on The Sopranos and as Howard Lyman on The Good Wife.
Jack Garfein was an American film director, writer, teacher producer, and key figure of the Actors' Studio.
Paradise Lost is a drama by Clifford Odets that takes place in 1932, during the Depression. The play was originally produced on Broadway by the Group Theatre in 1935. It was also filmed for television broadcast in 1971.
Peter Glenville was an English film and stage actor and director.
Zoe Swicord Kazan is an American actress, playwright, and screenwriter. Kazan made her acting debut in Swordswallowers and Thin Men (2003) and later appeared in films such as The Savages (2007), Revolutionary Road (2008) and It's Complicated (2009). She starred in Happy. Thank You. More. Please. (2010), Meek's Cutoff (2010), Ruby Sparks (2012), and What If (2013). In 2014, she appeared in the HBO miniseries Olive Kitteridge, for which she received an Emmy nomination. She portrayed Emily Gardner in the film The Big Sick (2017), and in 2018 she appeared in the Coen brothers film The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.
Pine Brook Country Club began when Benjamin Plotkin purchased Pinewood Lake and the surrounding countryside on Mischa Hill in the historic village of Nichols, Connecticut. Plotkin built an auditorium with a revolving stage and forty rustic cabins and incorporated as the Pine Brook Country Club in 1930. Plotkin's dream was to market the rural lakeside club as a summer resort for people to stay and enjoy theatrical productions. The Club remained in existence until major fighting broke out in Europe in the mid-1940s and was reorganized as a private lake association in 1944.
Juleen Compton was an American independent filmmaker, writer, and actor. She is best known for Stranded (1965) and The Plastic Dome of Norma Jean (1967), which she wrote, directed, and financed. She also starred in and distributed Stranded.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Luther Adler .|