Elizabeth Kemp, an actress who found perhaps her most impactful role as a teacher of others, including Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga and Harvey Keitel, has died. She was 65. Her death was announced Saturday by her Facebook page administrator Rosa Asor Morelli.
No further details were provided.
“I celebrate your life,” tweeted Hugh Jackman, “and am profoundly grateful to have spent precious time with you.” Lady Gaga wrote, “She helped me want to dream again…” (See the tweets below).
Announcing Kemp’s death, Morelli wrote, “It is a shock, no doubt, for all of us that have had the privilege to have her as Mentor, Teacher, Friend. Elizabeth is family to me and I know that her time here in Italy, and everywhere she’s been teaching, has always been a special mixture of powerful work, fun, experimenting, inspiration and unconditional love and support.”
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Kemp continued her long association with Cooper up through his Oscar-nominated turn in American Sniper in 2014 and the upcoming A Star Is Born.
According to her website, Kemp, mentored by Elia Kazan, was a member of the Actors Studio for 30 years, where she had moderated sessions and served as liaison to the late Arthur Penn during his presidency there. She also had served as a member of the acting faculty at the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University and taught at the Lee Strasberg Institute, Susan Batson’s Black Nexxus as well as workshops in New York, Athens, Zurich, Paris, Berlin and Rome.
Kemp’s coaching technique included “dreamwork,” a Jungian approach utilizing student’s dreams. “In the Method, we revisit something we lived through,” she told The New York Times in 2009. “But there are still pockets in the unconscious or the psyche that have a residue of feelings — feelings that have not at all been expressed in life.”
As an actress, Kemp made her TV debut in the 1970s on soap Love of Life, later appearing in 1980 horror film He Knows You’re Alone (featuring a young Tom Hanks) and TV series including L.A. Law, thirtysomething and Law & Order.
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