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Sam Chwat dies at 57; actors lost, and learned, accents under dialect coach's tutelage
Sam Chwat dies at 57; actors lost, and learned, accents under dialect coach's tutelage

Sam Chwat was a master of accents who taught Robert De Niro to talk like an Appalachian ex-convict, Olympia Dukakis to talk like a Holocaust survivor and Peter Boyle to talk like a bigot from the Deep South. A modern-day Henry Higgins, he also trained some actors to lose accents, helping Julia Roberts drop her native Georgia drawl and Tony Danza his distinctive Brooklynese. Chwat even turned his training on himself, muting his own "Noo Yawk" accent to prevent clients from miming the wrong cues. Chwat, 57, who died of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma March 3 in Long Island, N.Y., ran the Sam Chwat Speech Center in New York City, which has helped thousands of people with speech...

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