Mark Blum was an actor’s actor, a veteran of level, film and television who dedicated his existence to the craft whilst graciously sharing his items with others. This made him ideally suited to educate performing, a position to which he implemented himself with identical vigour and dedication in his later years.
The brand new Jersey-born actor, who died on March 25 from complications associated with COVID-19 at big apple-Presbyterian health facility, turned into a fixture of the town’s theater network because the mid-1970s, with credits spanning a number of the maximum famous works of the past half century.
At the time of his passing, Blum, 69, who had bronchial asthma, turned into the director of the Uta Hagen Institute’s Hagen core education at big apple’s HB Studio. Alumni of the esteemed nonprofit performing studio encompass Candice Bergen, Robert De Niro, Bette Midler, Liza Minnelli, and Al Pacino. Seeing that 2018, Blum served because the director of the only-yr education application, an incorporated innovative curriculum of instructions.
“once I think of Mark, the essential decency of the man continually involves thoughts,” says Edith Meeks, govt and creative director of HB Studio. “looking him inside the classroom, I understood that he changed into in no way attempting to tell his students what to do; he become always attempting to persuade them in the direction of their very own discoveries, to spread the trouble to them and deliver them a danger to start to solve it.”
“each student is extraordinary,” Blum wrote in his teaching statement for the program. “My process is to be a diagnostician, identifying the unique troubles retaining an actor back from reaching his or her ability, then nudging them toward finding, and proudly owning, the keys to their own freedom.”
Blum, who become a member of the studio’s artistic Council, was loved by using each his college students and colleagues.
“Mark turned into so in track together with his students as actors. He always met them exactly in which they had been, and with recognize and authentic encouragement. Little marvel the outpouring of heartfelt responses from college students,” says Carol Rosenfeld, founding director of the Hagen center program. “His inclusiveness knew no bounds. While he was in a play, On- or Off-Broadway, he enlisted cast members to do talkbacks together with his magnificence after the performance. You could imagine how inspiring and encouraging this was for his students.”
Mark Jeffrey Blum changed into born on might also 14, 1950, in Newark, N.J., and raised close by in Maplewood, N.J. There, at Columbia high college, he was an enthusiastic player in drama productions however turned into reluctant to renowned his passion for the level. Blum obtained a BA in theater from the university of Pennsylvania, wherein he helped create a theater curriculum (which, at the time, became no longer provided by the university), and subsequent earned an MFA in performing from the university of Minnesota, in which he received formal theatrical education thru a unique software in affiliation with the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis.
After graduating, he toured appreciably with the countrywide Shakespeare organisation before settling in new york metropolis, where he made his level debut in Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard (1976). He made his Broadway debut a yr later in Arnold Wesker’s The service provider (based totally on Shakespeare’s The service provider of Venice).
In 1989, Blum’s career reached new heights when he won an Obie Award for his performance as a playwright who travels back in time to satisfy Gustav Mahler within the Playwrights Horizons production of Albert Innaurato’s Gus and Al. Blum also starred within the authentic Off-Broadway production of Kenneth Lonergan’s The Waverly Gallery in 2000, and his other Broadway credit covered Neil Simon’s misplaced in Yonkers (1991), the Tony-nominated revival of Reginald Rose’s 12 angry guys (2004), and Gore Vidal’s The pleasant guy (2012).
“Mark become an excellent actor, an actor of high analytical intelligence. These items do now not constantly come together as fantastically as they did in Mark — that aggregate of instinct, courage to play, and capacity for self-exam,” Meeks says. “these items also made him an exquisite trainer: alive to the opportunities and younger attitude in his students, and able to think creatively with them about a way to use the ones belongings.”
A quick test of Blum’s tv and movie credits demonstrates how versatile he changed into as a performer. After making his film debut inside the 1983 Dudley Moore romantic comedy Lovesick, he went on to appear in Blake Edwards’s slapstick comedy Blind Date (1987) and the Sean Connery mystery The Presidio (1988).
His television debut got here in a 1984 episode of St. Somewhere else, and he went on to appear in Miami Vice, Roseanne, Frasier, NYPD Blue, law & Order, The Sopranos, and Succession, in addition to the good wife and its 2019 spin off, the coolest combat. He loved a recurring function because the piccolo-playing “Union Bob” in Amazon’s Mozart within the Jungle (2014-2018), and reached new audiences with a pivotal role in season one of the Netflix mental thriller “You” (2018).
“Mark become also a sharp wit and a excellent ironic chronicler of existence as a individual actor,” Meeks said. “i am remembering the peals of laughter from down the corridor as Mark described in trenchant element the modern-day pervert he’d been hired to play on some overblown series drama.”
Lively in all facets of the activity, Blum became a display Actors Guild and SAG-AFTRA board member, serving from 2007–2013.
He is survived via his spouse, the actress Janet Zarish; his mother; and his sister, Nancy Blum Litt.