Legendary acting teacher William Esper has passed away.
Tributes have been flooding in on social media, with dozens of them shared on the William Esper Studio’s official Instagram Stories page.
Under its founder, the studio has trained a string of famous faces including Larry David, Amy Schumer and Jeff Goldblum.
No details have yet been shared about Esper’s cause of death.
Esper founded the William Esper Studio in 1965, and he was internationally recognized as an authority on the work of Sanford Meisner.
It was Meisner who trained him as an actor when he was young, at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theater.
Esper would later become part of the staff at the school. In 1977, he then founded two acting programs at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, leading the department until 2004. It was also during this time that he founded the Esper Studio, where he had continued to teach in recent years..
His work would not only influence the students at his studio, but also make waves around the world. Throughout his career, he served as a teacher Canada’s Banff Festival of the Arts, The National Theatre School of Canada, and the National Film School of Denmark.
Esper was honored with a SAG Certificate of Achievement for his service to the industry. Esper wrote and co-wrote several books throughout this career, including The Actor’s Art and Craft, and The Actor’s Guide To Creating A Character.
Esper leaves behind his wife, Suzanne Esper, a son, Michael Esper, and daughter, Shannon Esper. Both Shannon and Michael followed in their father’s footsteps, pursuing a career in acting.