One of the best and most controversial acting coaches of our time apparently died last week. Oddly, I can find no news source that reports it...except Wikipedia.
I never met the man over my years in L.A., but I knew and watched countless people who worked with him; Back Stage West gave a mixed review to his book Dreams Into Action. And yes, I heard the persistent rumors about his connections to Scientology, and his alleged recruiting through the Beverly Hills Playhouse. Last year's NY Times magazine piece didn't exactly lay those stories to rest, but it helped put Katselas in context better than any piece I've read. I happily frequented the bookstore he opened on Vermont Ave. in Los Feliz (and, now that I think of it, I did a book event there during my last days in L.A.).
Among the many plays he also directed over the years, I think the only I saw was his fine Seagull at the Matrix, which was double-cast but in which I remember with relish Anna Gunn, Alastair Duncan, Robert Foxworth, Sharon Lawrence, Charlie Hallahan, and, yes, Richard Kind. A quote from Chekhov's short story Enemies will, I hope, absolve me from further expressions of grief, which I'm poorly qualified to make anyway:
Silence accompanies the most significant expressions of happiness and unhappiness: those in love understand one another best when silent, while the most heated and impassioned speech at a graveside touches only outsiders, but seems cold and inconsequential to the widow and children of the deceased.
I do know he will be dearly missed.
UPDATE: A few proper obits.
(Photo by Todd Hido.)