Sunday, December 7, 2014

My Cousin Mordecai Lawner's Death

My cousin Mordecai Lawner died five days ago, and I attended his memorial service this afternoon.  He had been an acting instructor at the Neighborhood Playhouse, Carnegie Mellon University and the High School of Performing Arts for many years, and his students included hundreds of professional actors.  Jeff Goldblum sent a memorial oration from LA via video, which my cousins played as part of the memorial service. Goldblum said that when Morty taught at Carnegie Mellon he introduced Goldblum to acting and had then been his lifelong mentor.  Morty appeared with George C. Scott in Death of a Salesman and played Woody Allen’s father in Annie Hall: .  He was a wonderful guy and a veteran. 

He once talked me out of a show biz career. I  asked him whether I should consider becoming a producer, and he told me to read Elia Kazan’s autobiography.  By the time I had gotten half through it, I gave up the idea.  The Variety and Newsmax articles are here and here.