Herbert Berghof; Acting Students Included DeNiro, Pacino

Associated Press

Herbert Berghof, an acting teacher whose students included Geraldine Page, Fritz Weaver, Liza Minnelli, Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro, has died. He was 81.

Berghof, who also was a director and actor, died Monday at his Manhattan home of a heart ailment, a family spokesman said.

For more than 50 years, Berghof helped to hone the stage and screen skills of performers. Also among his students were Anne Bancroft, Donna McKechnie and Matthew Broderick.

He showcased many works by new playwrights at his Greenwich Village school, the Herbert Berghof Studio.

Berghof, who fled his native Austria after the Nazi takeover in 1938, opened an acting school in Manhattan in 1945. In 1947, he became a charter member of the Actors Studio, but came to disagree with his colleagues who preferred the Method technique when he shifted his focus to an emphasis on actions rather than thoughts and reactions.

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