Remembered for developing a popular acting method known as the Meisner Technique, this legendary acting teacher created a famous repetition-based exercise and emphasized a concept he termed the "reality of doing," steering his students away from playing emotions and toward acting and reacting truthfully.
After studying concert piano at the Juilliard School (then called the Damrosch Institute of Music), he became a founding member of New York City's famous Group Theatre.
He taught at both the Neighborhood Playhouse and The Actors Studio. His long list of students includes Robert Duvall, Gregory Peck, Jennifer Grey, Chris Noth, and many other stars of stage and screen.
Following his divorces from two wives -- Betty Gooch and Peggy Meyer -- he spent his life with fellow acting teacher James Carville.
Early in his career, he collaborated and studied with director, teacher, and "Method" acting founder Lee Strasberg.