Hagen, Uta (Thyra) 1919-2004

views updated

HAGEN, Uta (Thyra) 1919-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born June 12, 1919, in Göttingen, Germany; died January 14, 2004, in New York, NY. Actress and author. Hagen was a renowned stage actress who was often best remembered for her role in the 1962 production of the Edward Albee play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? After her family immigrated to the United States, she traveled to England to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1936; she then moved back to the United States and attended the University of Wisconsin briefly. Hagen, who believed throughout her life that stage acting was more exciting and rewarding that acting in film or television, received her first break playing Ophelia in Eva Le Gallienne's production of Hamlet in 1937. She went on to critical acclaim in productions of The Sea Gull (1938), Othello (1943), A Streetcar Named Desire (1948), and Saint Joan (1951), among many others. She won three Antoinette Perry (Tony) Awards for her work, first in 1951 for her role in The Country Girl, next in 1963 for playing Martha in Virginia Woolf, and finally a lifetime achievement award in 1999. She was also the recipient of the 2002 National Medal of Arts. Hagen passed down her knowledge of teaching as the founder of the acting school HB Studio, which she established with her husband in New York City in 1947. She wrote two books about acting: Respect for Acting (1972) and A Challenge for the Actor (1991), as well as a book on cooking called Love for Cooking (1976).



Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 2, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1986.


Chicago Tribune, January 16, 2004, section 3, p. 12.

New York Times, January 15, 2004, p. A31.

Times (London, England), January 30, 2004.

Washington Post, January 16, 2004, p. B7.

About this article

Hagen, Uta (Thyra) 1919-2004

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article