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Paul Mann

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B: December 2, 1915 in Toronto, Ontario
D: September 24, 1985 in Bronxville, New York

Paul Mann was one of the early and highly influential proponents of Method acting in the United States. Other advocates, including Lee Strasberg, joined forces at the Actors Studio, but Mann created the Actor`s Workshop in 1953 where he taught classes to a large following including future actor Sidney Poitier, and fellow Torontonian Lloyd Richards, who would also become a teacher at the studio before going on to build a career that has earned him the reputation of being the godfather of American theatre. An article in the New York times explained the method they taught as pushing actors to “find both the intellectual and the emotional bases for their characters.” This more open approach, compared to the Method as taught by either Strasberg or Stella Adler, allowed actors to use personal memories to inform their roles, but only with the knowledge they had to interact with the cast in a way that remained truthful to the time and place dictated by the play. Mann began his own career on stage in the musical comedy Follow Thru, which ran from January 9th to December 21st 1929. He was just 14-years-old. Mann would spend the vast majority of his working life on the stage with a very few exceptions, listed below. The first of only two film appearances found him playing the merchant Aleko Sinnikoglou in America, America, directed by Elia Kazan. Eight years later he played village butcher Lazar Wolf in the screen adaptation of Fiddler on the Roof, directed by Norman Jewison. Mann received Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe nominations for both roles.

Also see Larry Mann

Photo of Paul Mann © Lois Siegel. Used with permission.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

America, America (1963)

Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

TV Series – Guest Appearances:
Danger (1951)

;Fiddler on the Roof, movie poster;