Tad Z. Danielewski; Founder of Actors Workshop
Tad Z. Danielewski, a theatrical director, academician and founder of an actors workshop through which passed such stars as Martin Sheen, Sigourney Weaver, James Earl Jones and Mercedes Ruehl, is dead. His son Mark said Danielewski was 71 when he died Jan. 6 of cancer at his home in Los Angeles.
A native of Poland who survived both the Warsaw insurrection and a subsequent term in a Nazi labor camp, Danielewski most recently had been a professor emeritus at USC. From 1977 to 1988 he was professor of theater and film at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
After working as an actor and director for British and Polish army stage productions in postwar West Germany, Danielewski studied acting at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and in 1948 immigrated to the United States.
He studied at Ohio University, did graduate work in theater, film and television at the University of Iowa and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and in the late 1950s founded the Tad Z. Danielewski Actors’ Workshop in New York City. He later opened a branch in Los Angeles.
He alternated teaching with directing for various TV networks through the 1980s, working on “Omnibus,” “Robert Montgomery Presents,” “Matinee Theater,” “Wide Wide World” and others.
In 1967 he was a member of the team that won an Emmy for the news documentary “Africa.” He also directed several episodes of a highly praised 1985 children’s series, “Muggsy.”
His film adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre’s “No Exit” starring Viveca Lindfors, which he directed in 1962, won two Golden Bear Awards at the Berlin Festival. Some of his other feature pictures were “The Guide,” filmed in India, “The Big Wave,” “Copernicus” and the documentary “Spain.”
Danielewski was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Directors Guild of America, and the Academy of TV Arts and Sciences, among other professional affiliations.
Besides his son Mark, he is survived by his wife, Lillian, another son, Christopher, and a daughter, Annie.