The world lost an outstanding actor and an inspirational teacher in 2002 when Beatrice Manley passed on. But thanks to her book Your Breath in Art: Acting from Within (due May 30 from Everything Goes Media), we can get to know this extraordinary woman through her show business stories, humorous anecdotes, and sage wisdom on life on and off the stage.
Born in New York in 1921, Beatrice Manley’s artistic career spanned six decades and took her across the country. She debuted on Broadway when she was only twenty in Eve of Saint Mark and Cherry Orchard. Manley went on to play leading roles at San Francisco Actor’s Workshop, Vivian Beaumont Theater at Lincoln Center, and KPFK’s Pacifica Tape Library.
In 1956, Ms. Manley became the first American actress to perform the titular role in Mother Courage. Other notable productions included Danton’s Death, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Yerma, Uncle Vanya, Rockaby and Footfalls, Salome, and Persephone.
Manley received an honorary Doctor of Arts from the California Institute of the Arts, a Stanford University artist-in-residence fellowship, and an LA Weekly award for “the performance of a lifetime.” While teaching with the California Institute of the Arts, the University of Southern California, and privately, Ms. Manley’s pupils included Paul Reubens, Bill Irwin, and Ed Harris.
Beatrice Manley is the author of three books on acting, five plays, two librettos, and a screenplay. She was a devoted mother to Jonathan, Tara, and
, and a proud grandmother. An author and photographer, Dick Blau continues to keep his mother’s legacy alive through the promotion of her written work.