How did Sandra Seacat die? 'Revolutionary' acting coach mourned by students Andrew Garfield and Mickey Rourke

How did Sandra Seacat die? 'Revolutionary' acting coach mourned by students Andrew Garfield and Mickey Rourke
Sandra Seacat was mourned by Andrew Garfield and Mickey Rourke among others (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images, Phillip Faraone/Getty Images, Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA: Sandra Seacat, a renowned celebrity acting coach whose learners included actors like Mickey Rourke, Andrew Garfield and Laura Dern, died on Tuesday, January 17 at the age of 86. Stan Rosenfield, a close family friend and publicist, reported that Seacat died in Santa Monica from natural causes. 

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A generation of actors were impacted by Seacat's distinctive teaching approach, which helped them deliver authentic, naturalistic performances. Along with Rourke, Garfield, and Dern, other actors who studied under Seacat include Jessica Lange, Harvey Keitel, Marlo Thomas, Aaron Eckhart, Meg Ryan, Misha Baryshnikov, Isabella Rossellini, Melanie Griffith, Don Johnson, Mary Kay Place, Peter Falk, Shia LaBeouf, Martin Henderson, Michelle Williams, and others. Beginning in 1975, Seacat, or Ms Seacat as she was popularly known, taught acting seminars and classes across the US and Europe with an unbroken devotion to storytelling and art that grew a strong community of students and friends.

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One of Seacat's final acting roles was as Garfield's mother in the film 'Under the Banner of Heaven'. In a statement, Garfield commended the artist for leading a life of "profound service and healing through art," and stated, "She is a true legend in the sense that she lived the most virtuous life one can imagine," as reported by Variety.

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(L-R) Andrew Garfield and Sandra Seacat attend the premiere of FX's
(L-R) Andrew Garfield and Sandra Seacat attend the premiere of FX's "Under The Banner Of Heaven" at Hollywood Athletic Club on April 20, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images)

Garfield added, "She was a revolutionary, a culture changing teacher of acting and storytelling. She is a beacon for all of us of what a life of deep meaning and beauty can look like. And she was irreverent and forever playing like a joyful unbridled child. I feel grateful beyond words to be able to call her my teacher, my acting partner in 'Under the Banner of Heaven', my mentor and my friend."

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In a post on Instagram, Rourke praised Seacat and referred to her as the best acting coach to emerge from a New York actor's studio. Additionally, he described her as a "God sent gift" and he shared the piece of advice she gave him, telling him to "work harder than the rest."



 

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In a statement, Dern said, "Sandra lived by seeing magic and possibility in everything. She met the discovery of character and story with equal protectiveness, irreverence, humility and grace. She taught us the practice of investigating healing through acting," as reported by Variety

Dern added, "But more than that, she invited us to know ourselves as artists and humans in ways I could've never begun to explore without her. She's been my teacher since age 17 and I had the honor of acting alongside her several times. She is my whole heart."

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Seacat is survived by her husband, Thurn Hoffman, and daughter, acting coach Greta Seacat. Later this year, memorial services will be held in both Los Angeles and New York. To support The Actors Studio, donations can be made.

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