He was born as Israel Strassberg born on November 17, 1901 in Budanov, Austria-Hungary. He is known as an was an American actor, director and acting teacher.
It was in 1931 that he cofounded, with directors Harold Clurman and Cheryl Crawford, the Group Theatre. With this company he developed the Method, and he is considered the "father of this acting technique in America. The Group Theatre was hailed as "America's first true theatrical collective.
As co-founder, he was able to aid in the development of such distinguished artists as Elia Kazan, John Garfield, Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner, Franchot Tone, and Robert Lewis. How influencial on acting techniques Strasberg was is quoted by the author Mel Gussow: "he revolutionized the art of acting by having a profound influence on performance in American theater and movies". Working with Elia kazan ment international recognition of his work for film
In 1949 he joined the Actors Studio and in 1951, he became director of this non-profit , in New York City, considered "the nation's most prestigious acting school".
Many wellknown actors studied in his school, like Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Montgomery Clift, James Dean, Marilyn Monroe, Julie Harris, Paul Newman, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Jack Nicholson and Steve McQueen.
In 1969, Strasberg founded the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York City and in Hollywood to teach the work he pioneered.
Besides teaching acting techniques Strasberg did a bit of acting himself, most notably, perhaps, with his Academy Award nominated performance in The Godfather: Part II.
"Acting is relaxation for me. I enjoy it more than directing or teaching because I don't have to argue with myself," quipped Lee Strasberg, adding humorously: "I understand what the director wants more than he does himself." One of his greatest ambitions was to play the life of Albert Einstein - "During his latter years, of course."
Lee Strasberg was a frequent contributor to publications, including books, magazines, newspapers and reference works.
Lee Strasberg died on February 17, 1982