Joseph Bernard, Broadway Actor and Acting Coach Who Taught in L.A. and Vegas, Dead at 82

Obituaries   Joseph Bernard, Broadway Actor and Acting Coach Who Taught in L.A. and Vegas, Dead at 82 Joseph Bernard, a respected American actor and longtime acting teacher, died April 3 in New York City at age 82.

The Brooklyn native was visiting Manhattan and died at the Waldorf=Astoria, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. At the time of his death, the paper reported, he was helping his friend Jerry Lewis prepare for a guest spot on "Law & Order: SVU." He had also coached Lewis in the mid-1990s when Lewis appeared in the Broadway production of Damn Yankees.

Mr. Bernard, of Las Vegas, was executive director and teacher at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in Hollywood before moving to Las Vegas in 1979. In the desert city, he opened the Joseph Bernard Acting Studio. He perceived that a showbiz community there would he hungry for acting classes, but most of his students, he once said in an interview, were dealers, cocktail waitresses and bellhops from the tourism and casino industry.

Mr. Bernard studied acting at the New School with coach Stella Adler in the early 1940s. A classmate was Marlon Brando. He was drafted and served in the U.S. Army, and was among the troops that followed men into Normandy a week after D-Day.

He made his Broadway debut in Skipper Next to God, followed by Mister Roberts, a revival of Golden Boy, The Rat Race, The Lark, Candide, Look Homeward Angel, The Wall, Rhinoceros, Nobody Loves an Albatross and Generation. He also served as an stage manager of his last three Broadway credits.

Mr. Bernard's marriage to wife Bina lasted 49 years. She died in 2001. His varied career also included film acting and theatre writing and director. Henry Fonda starred in Command Decision, directed by Mr. Bernard in 1949.

His film acting credits include "Judgment at Nuremberg" and "Ice Station Zebra." On TV, he appeared in "Star Trek," "The Twilight Zone," "Mission: Impossible," "I Spy," "It Takes a Thief," "The Untouchables" and "The Flying Nun," which he also directed.

In recent years, he appeared in Las Vegas productions of I'm Not Rappaport, The Sunshine Boys and The Price.

In 1983, he wrote and directed Take Off Your Clothes, I'll Make You a Star in Las Vegas.

In addition to his daughter Bella Julie Bernard and granddaughter, both of Las Vegas, Mr. Bernard is survived by his son, Sam, of Santa Monica, CA.