Uta Thyra Hagen (12 June 1919 – 14 January 2004) was a German-born American actress and drama teacher. She originated the role of Martha in the 1963 Broadway premiere of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee (who called her "a profoundly truthful actress"). Hagen was on the Hollywood blacklist, in part because of her association with Paul Robeson, and this curtailed film opportunities, focusing her to perform in New York theaters. She won the Tony Award three times. She later became a highly influential acting teacher at New York's Herbert Berghof Studio and authored best-selling acting texts, Respect for Acting, with Haskel Frankel, and A Challenge for the Actor. She was elected to the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 1981.
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“More than in any other performing arts the lack of respect for acting seems to spring from the fact that every layman considers himself a valid critic.”
—Uta Hagen (b. 1919)