Hagen, Uta (1919–2004)

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Hagen, Uta (1919–2004)

German-born actress and acting teacher. Pronunciation: OO-ta; Hagen rhymes with noggin. Born Uta Thyra Hagen, June 12, 1919, in Göttingen, Germany; died Jan 14, 2004, in New York, NY; dau. of Oskar Fran Leonard Hagen (professor of art history) and Thyra A. (Leisner) Hagen; attended Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, and University of Wisconsin, 1936–1937; m. José Ferrer (actor), Dec 8, 1938 (div. 1948); m. Herbert Berghof (actor, director, teacher), Jan 25, 1951 (died 1990); children: Leticia Ferrer (actress).

One of America's first ladies of the theater, came to US (1925); joined Eva Le Gallienne's Civic Rep, playing Ophelia in Hamlet at Cape Playhouse (1937); made Broadway debut at 19, as Nina in Theatre Guild production of The Seagull; co-starred with 1st husband José Ferrer in several successful plays, including the comedy Vickie (1942) and Othello (1943), starring Paul Robeson; learned a new style of acting (1947) and began teaching at HB studios, which she would remain associated with until her death; appeared as Georgie in The Country Girl (1950), for which she won her 1st Tony Award; starred in Saint Joan (1951), directed by Margaret Webster; won a 2nd Tony for portrayal of Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962); during 1950s, because of her liberal views and earlier relationship with Paul Robeson, was blacklisted, making it impossible for her to work in movies or tv; some 20 years later, finally ventured into films, appearing in The Other (1972), followed by The Boys from Brazil (1978) and Reversal of Fortune (1990); appeared off-Broadway in title role in Mrs. Klein (1995); set forth theories in 2 books, Respect for Acting (1973) and A Challenge for the Actor (1991), which have become standard references for students and professionals; also wrote Love for Cooking (1976).

See also autobiography Sources (1983); and Women in World History.

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Hagen, Uta (1919–2004)

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