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Stella Adler

As an actress and a teacher, Stella Adler transformed a generation of American actors though her understanding of Method acting. Born into a family famed for elevating Yiddish theater from vaudeville to a more nuanced art, Stella Adler performed on stage for the first time at age four and quickly achieved star status in her own right. Alder was deeply impacted by her studies of the Stanislavsky Method at the newly formed American Laboratory Theater School, but despite the praise she earned from critics for her new style, Adler still felt unsatisfied with Method acting and went to Paris to challenge Stanislavsky directly. Surprised that Americans were using techniques he had given up years before, Stanislavsky helped Adler rethink the possibilities of Method acting to create a character instead of using personal pain to generate emotions on stage. After returning to America to star in a number of films and direct several plays, Adler opened the Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting to pass on the new Method, training Warren Beatty, Robert De Niro, and Marlon Brando, among others, and writing the essential book on her craft, The Technique of Acting.

More on: Film, Theater, Non-Fiction
Stella Adler
Full image

Stella Adler, star of Yiddish theater, in Shadow of the Thin Man.

Date of Birth
February 10, 1902
Place of Birth
New York, New York
Date of Death
December 22, 1992

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Stella Adler." (Viewed on March 25, 2019) <https://jwa.org/people/adler-stella>.


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