Joel Friedman, Director and Actor, Dies at 91

By Robert Simonson
October 10, 2012

Joel Friedman, who was a director, actor, teacher and playwright, died Sept. 29. He was 91.



Mr. Friedman directed an early New York Shakespeare Festival production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Central Park. He also staged Pelleas and Melisande at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in 1957, and was Angela Lansbury’s advance director for her first legitimate tour of Affairs of State.

In recent years, Mr. Friedman acted frequently. Among his credits were The Soap Myth at South Street Seaport Theater; His Girl Friday and The Night of the Iguana at the Guthrie in Minneapolis; Arthur Miller’s The Price at the Delaware Theatre Company; As You Like It at Boston’s Huntington Theater and the Pittsburgh Public Theatre; and the title role in King Lear at New York’s American Globe Theatre.

As a dramatist, Mr. Friedman was the author of "The Skinwearers and Other Plays," a collection of seven of his plays. He was a teacher at Temple University in 1970s and at the University of Akron in Ohio in the 1980s.

Mr. Friedman is survived by his wife, Broadway actress Sylvia Gassel.

There will be a memorial service for Joel at The Players Club, 16 Gramercy Park South, New York City, on Sunday, Oct. 28, at 2 PM. (For more information e-mail ForJoelFriedman@aol.com.)