Actor Lew Palter, who starred in “Titanic” and “First Monday in October” has died. He was 94.
Palter died of lung cancer on May 21 at his home in Los Angeles, according to Deadline.
The longtime stage and screen actor was also faculty at CalArts School of Theater in Santa Clarita, California.
“It is with great sadness that we share the news that longtime #calartstheater faculty Lew Palter has passed away. Lew retired from @CalArts in 2013, having served our community since 1971 as an acting teacher, director, and mentor,” the school tweeted on May 21.
One of his students was actress Cecily Strong, who credits Palter for encouraging her to try out for the improv/sketch comedy, The Groundlings, which lead to her breakout role on “SNL.”
Palter joined CalArts in 1971. He served as an acting teacher, director, and mentor until his retirement in 2013.
His lengthy television resume includes: “The A-Team,” “Charlie’s Angels,” “Columbo,” “Gunsmoke, Mission: Impossible,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “Kojak,” “The Brady Bunch,” “The Flying Nun,” and “The Doris Day Show.”
In 1981, Palter played a Supreme Court justice in the film “First Monday in October.”
He starred as businessman Isidor Straus in the 1997 James Cameron blockbuster “Titanic.” His character is best known for holding his wife in bed in the montage as the ship begins to sink while the string quartet plays “Nearer My God to Thee.”
Palter is survived by his daughter, Catherine.
His wife, Nancy Vawter, died in November 2020, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Catherine Palter told THR that her mom’s agent had put her up for the role of Palter’s wife in “Titanic” but was told “producers were ‘looking for a different type of actress.'”