Director, Producer, Performer
( b. Feb 22, 1933 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA ) Male
Milton Katselas was a prominent acting teacher and director whose students included George Clooney, Alec Baldwin, Michelle Pfeiffer, Gene Hackman, Anne Archer, Kate Hudson, Kim Cattrall, Chris Noth, Tyne Daly, Jenna Elfman, Robert Urich, Patrick Swayze, Tom Selleck and Tony Danza.
He was only 24 when he started to teach acting in New York after observing a class that failed to impress him and a friend convinced him he could do better. "When I teach, my job is to bring out whatever is possible," Katselas said in 1998 in Buzz magazine. "It's not my job to push the ejector seat on somebody's dreams."
In Pittsburgh, Katselas studied theater at what is now Carnegie Mellon University. After graduating in the 1950s, he went to New York, "scared stiff" about breaking into theater, he later said, and studied with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio. Eventually, Katselas apprenticed with Kazan and worked for other noted theater directors.
Katselas began his directing career in the 1960s with the American premiere of the Broadway play "The Zoo Story" by Edward Albee. On Broadway, Katselas also directed "The Rose Tattoo" in 1966 and "Camino Real" in 1970. Also in 1970, Katselas was nominated for a Tony Award for directing the Broadway debut of "Butterflies Are Free" and came to Hollywood to direct the 1972 film version -- and stayed.
He returned East in 1983 to direct "Private Lives" with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton but left the show before it reached New York.
Locally, he directed theatrical productions of "The Seagull," "Romeo and Juliet" and "Streamers" and several films, including "40 Carats" (1973) with Liv Ullman, and "When You Comin' Back, Red Ryder" (1979).
As a teacher, he was known to impart practical advice, which was reflected in his 1996 best-selling self-help book, "Dreams Into Action: Getting What You Want." This month, the text he used for decades to teach was released as the book "Acting Class: Take a Seat." The Saturday before his death, he taught his last acting class.
source: LA Times obit