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Leonidas Dudarew-Ossetynski, 78; Polish-Born Writer, Director, Actor

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Leonidas Dudarew-Ossetynski, an internationally known drama teacher, writer, director and actor, died Friday at West Los Angeles Veterans Hospital. He was 78 and had been battling cancer.

Dudarew-Ossetynski, a native of Poland and a graduate of the National Academy of Drama in Warsaw, came to this country in 1941 after service in the Polish army in France. In Los Angeles, he worked with famed actor-director Michael Chekhov, co-authoring the book, “To the Actor” and teaching the Chekhov Method to drama students here.

On his own, he established the Ossetynski Actors Laboratory on Melrose Avenue. From there, he trained hundreds of students, many of whom went on to work in film and television. Among his productions was “Matka,” which he staged in 1983 at the Cast at the Safe Harbor theater. The production received 11 awards.

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Earlier, Dudarew-Ossetynski performed on stages throughout the United States and Canada and directed several Off Broadway plays in New York.

Dudarew-Ossetynski was a featured actor in “Walk Don’t Run,” “The Man in the Glass Booth” and “Alias Mike Fury.” He also was seen in many episodic television shows playing a variety of foreign characters.

He is survived by a daughter, Valerie Hunken, and two granddaughters. A Mass will be said at Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood at 10 a.m. Tuesday. He will be buried in Poland.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the American Cancer Society.


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