Acting coach Elizabeth Kemp, who worked with Bradley Cooper and Hugh Jackman and recently taught Lady Gaga for Cooper’s remake of A Star is Born died over the weekend at age 65.
Lady Gaga paid tribute to Kemp during her show at Boston’s Fenway Park on Saturday night, explaining she heard from Cooper moments before getting on stage that Kemp had died. “What was incredible was that Bradley told me Elizabeth died with such dignity. She knew she was going to go but he told me it was very graceful,” Gaga said to the crowd. “She would have wanted each and every one of you to feel so grateful. … She was such a strong woman. She used to ask me all the time to go back to the hardest thing in my heart for the stage.”
Later, Jackman also paid tribute to Kemp, retweeting video of Gaga’s performance.
Kemp based her classes on the acting method created by Konstantin Stanislavsky and was also inspired by famed coach Lee Strasberg, who taught the actress. As Kemp said during a 2011 episode of Inside the Actors Studio, featuring Cooper, she was also mentored by director Elia Kazan.
During that episode, Cooper became emotional talking about Kemp, who taught at the Actors Studio Drama School beginning in 1995. “The thing I wanted to say was that I was never able to relax in my life before her,” Cooper said through tears.
Kemp’s death was announced via Facebook by Rosa Asor Morelli, a co-administrator of Kemp’s page.
“With a heavy heart, I have to share the news of the sudden loss of our beloved Elizabeth Kemp. It is a shock, no doubt, for all of us that have had the privilege to have her as Mentor, Teacher, Friend. Elizabeth is family to me and I know that her time here in Italy, and everywhere she’s been teaching, has always been a special mixture of powerful work, fun, experimenting, inspiration and unconditional love and support.”
Kemp made her big screen debut in the 1980 film He Knows You’re Not Alone, which was also the debut feature for Tom Hanks. She also appeared on episodes of L.A. Law and Law & Order among other credits.