Titanic actor Lew Palter, who died away on May 21 at his home in Los Angeles from lung cancer at 94, was a member of the film’s cast.
The New York City-born actor may be best known for being real-life department store owner Isidor Straus in James Cameron’s critically acclaimed blockbuster film Titanic, which grossed $2.2 billion worldwide and will be available on Netflix on July 1. Straus gave a loving embrace to his sleeping wife.
Associate Justice Benjamin Halperin was a role that Lew performed in Ronald Neame’s 1981 Supreme Court comedy-drama First Monday in October, which also starred Walter Matthau and Jill Clayburgh. At box offices all around the globe, the movie made a total of $12.4 million.
Palter’s illustrious students at the CalArts School of Theater included the likes of Ed Harris, Don Cheadle, and Cecily Strong, all of whom were shortlisted for honors at the Academy honors. Palter was a professor at the school.
Cecily Strong, the producer, and actress of Schmigadoon!, who obtained her degree in acting from CalArts in 2006, wrote an emotional essay on May 22 about how important Palter was in pushing her to pursue comedic roles rather than dramatic ones. Strong shared her thoughts on the Schmigadoon! Website.What a fantastic professor you are. John Palter. The Illinois native, now 39 years old, would constantly remind us, in the words of the great Bertold Brecht, “The proof is in the pudding,” by scratching his enormous, massive ears and striking his “Ks” so wet.
“Lew directed me in Anton in Show Business by Jane Martin, my second favorite play at CalArts, along with all of the other females who weren’t cast in the major productions our second year.” ‘Lew directed me in Anton in Show Business by Jane Martin was my second favorite play at CalArts.
We were first disheartened since we weren’t selected for the more powerful performances, but by the time the season was through, we felt as if we had been a part of the best show of the year because it was received so well (after all, the proof is truly in the pudding). When I was playing the part of Wikewich, the Polish director, I got the chance to exclaim at the crowd, “I f*** you with my art.”
He stated, “Lew said he thought it would be a good idea for me to enroll in a course at the Groundlings,” he added, “I should do that.” I replied that there was no way since I was a real actor. Lew was, as it turned out, absolutely accurate. The Groundlings’ session was one that I attended. Consequently, I traveled back to Chicago to continue my education in improv.
Ultimately, I decided to attend the audition that Lorne Michaels held. To your health, Lew. And I’d want to express my gratitude for the opportunity you’ve given me to brag for so many years that my teacher was the elderly passenger who chose to spend his time in bed on the Titanic.
Lew was a wise man who knew how to enjoy his life. How to educate students to become better people and performers in their chosen fields. He astonishingly survived to be 94 years old. The evidence is in the pudding.
Cecily was a humorous cast member on NBC’s long-running sketch comedy series for 11 seasons, beginning in 2012 and continuing until her farewell episode, which aired on December 17, 2017. Her impersonations of Judge Jeanine Pirro and frequent singing were only two examples of her comedic talents.
Lew, whose actual name is Leon, and the actor Ed Harris, who plays Westworld, first crossed paths when they both attended CalArts, from which Harris graduated in 1975.
Palter taught The Wonder Years’ narrator, Don Cheadle, at CalArts, where he graduated in 1986. Palter quit teaching in 2013.
A variety of roles were offered to the former member of the United States Army in various television shows such as Delvecchio, The Flying Nun, Hill Street Blues, L.A. Law, The Doris Day Show, Columbo, The Brady Bunch, Baretta, The Waltons, Cagney & Lacey, and The A-Team.
Lew also directed several off-Broadway works for the Los Angeles Stage Company, including the drama Nuts by Tom Topor, which was eventually adapted for the big screen in 1987 with Barbra Streisand playing the role of the manslaughtering call girl. Nuts were one of Lew’s most successful creations.
Palter’s educational history was impressive, as shown by the fact that he earned a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University, a master’s degree from Alfred University, and a doctorate in drama from Northwestern University.
The Steagle actor is survived by his daughter Catherine Read Palter, whom he wed in 1954 and who played Nancy Vawter on the television show L.A. Law for 64 years until she died in 2020.
Lew Morgan’s three grandchildren, Sam, Tessa, and Miranda, can also not join their grandfather.
A recent tragedy in which five people drowned while onboard the OceanGate Titan submersible researching the debris of the fatal ship in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean has caused a rise in public interest in the Titanic. The submersible attempted to locate the ship’s remains, which sank in the early 20th century.
There is a direct familial link between Isidor and Ida Straus, the wealthy New York couple that Palter and Elsa Raven played in the 1997 film directed by James Cameron, and Wendy Rush, the wife of the late OceanGate CEO Stockton Rush. Wendy Rush was married to Stockton Rush.
Isidor and Ida Straus, who was killed in the tragedy, were the people responsible for founding the department store now known as Macy’s. It was appropriate to refer to them as her great-great-grandparents.
They were also commemorated in the movie, as a fictional version of them was depicted sharing a passionate embrace on their bed when the ship was submerged in water during a pivotal scene.
Last week’s collapse claimed the lives of Rush, the Pakistani industrialist Shahzada Dawood and his son Suleman Dawood, the British explorer Hamish Harding, and the French Titanic expert Paul-Henri Nargeolet.