Julian Beck

Julian Beck (May 31, 1925 – September 14, 1985) was an American actor, director, poet, and painter. Beck was born in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan in New York City, the son of Mabel Lucille (née Blum), a teacher, and Irving Beck, a businessman. He briefly attended Yale University, but dropped out to pursue writing and art. He was an Abstract Expressionist painter in the 1940s, but his career turned upon meeting his future wife. In 1943, he met Judith Malina (born 1926) and quickly came to share her passion for theatre; they founded The Living Theatre in 1947. Beck co-directed the Living Theatre until his death. The group's primary influence was Antonin Artaud, who espoused the Theatre of Cruelty, which was supposed to shock the audience out of complacency. This took different forms. In one example, from Jack Gelber's The Connection, a drama about drug addiction, actors playing junkies wandered the audience demanding money for a fix. The Living Theatre moved out of New York in 1974, after the Internal Revenue Service shut it down when Beck failed to pay $23,000 in back taxes.

Actor

Freebase CC-BY
Source: Julian Beck on Freebase, licensed under CC-BY
Other content from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA