July 30, 2011 / 2:15 AM / 8 years ago

David LeGrant, Acting Coach, Dies at 87

Acting coach David LeGrant died at his home in Thousand Oaks, Calif., on Thursday. He was 87 years old.

As a coach, he worked with Tobey Maguire (left, with LeGrant), Danny Glover, Bernadette Peters, Steve Martin, and Alyson Hannigan. In his acting days, he studied with Marilyn Monroe, and performed with then-wife Barbara Cook in "Oklahoma!" 

Born Dec. 8, 1923 to a Los Angeles-based carpenter in the film industry, he served in the Air Force during WWII and studied acting on the G.I. bill. He moved to New York where he performed on TV and in some small movie roles, meeting singer-actor Barbara Cook on the Borscht Belt; they married in 1952.

The couple performed together in “Oklahoma” the following year. LeGrant studied with Marilyn Monroe at Lee Strasberg’s Actor's Studio and moved back to Los Angeles in 1978.

Legrant founded his Studio for Acting, which will continue to operate with the help of long-time coach Eddie Singleterry.

"David's class was a place where you let everything just hang out," Maguire told Backstage last year. "I was so self-conscious when I first walked in, but I could be vulnerable and face challenges and fears I never thought I would."

LeGrant’s cause of death is yet unknown, but long-time friend Troy Kelly thinks “he was just tired,” after a lifetime of hard work. He is survived by his sons Jacob and Adam LeGrant.  

Students and friends are posting their tributes to LeGrant on his Facebook page. 

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