HOLLYWOOD —Once a month, writer/director Luke Yankee interviews two prominent actors, writers, directors and/or producers about their lives, their careers and, of course, their craft. These informal and informative conversations are sure to inspire, enlighten and entertain. Produced in conjunction with Stella Adler Studios (one of the most respected acting schools in America), a portion of the proceeds will support the charity of the speakers’ choice and another portion will support scholarships and outreach programs at the Stella Adler Studio – Los Angeles.

This week one of the most honored actors in the history of television, Edward Asner will be a guest. Asner has been the recipient of seven Emmy awards® and 16 nominations, as well as five Golden Globe awards® and served as national president of the Screen Actors Guild for two terms. He was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1996. Perhaps best known for his comedic and dramatic crossover as the gruff but soft-hearted journalist Lou Grant, the role he originated on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and continued on the “Lou Grant Show,” which earned him five Emmys® and three Golden Globe Awards®. Asner received two more Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for the mini-series “Rich Man, Poor Man and Roots.” Asner’s dozens of motion pictures include “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!,” “Fort Apache” “The Bronx,” “JFK,” and the European production of “Giovanni XXIII”- the highest rated television mini-series in the history of Italian TV as well as “Elf” with Will Farrell. Asner was the lead voice of Carl Fredricksen in Pixar’s 2009 box-office-hit “UP!,” which won Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Score -Motion Picture, at the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards as well as two Academy Awards.

Alongside Asner will be Mark Rydell, who is an Academy Award®-nominated director, a classically trained actor, and an accomplished jazz pianist. He received an Oscar® nomination as Best Director for “The Rose” starring Bette Midler and “On Golden Pond” starring Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn and Jane Fonda.

Rydell’s commitment to the craft of filmmaking is evidenced by the 26 Oscar® nominations garnered by his films. Bette Midler, Marsha Mason, Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn and Sissy Spacek have all received Oscar® nominations under his direction, as well as Golden Globe® nominations for both Stephen Rea and Isabella Rossellini.

Rydell directed more than fifty episodes of dramatic television including “I Spy,” “Ben Casey” and “Gunsmoke.” His first feature, “The Fox” won the Golden Globe® award for Best English Language Foreign Film.

Other films include “The Reivers” with Steve McQueen, “Jeremiah Johnson” with Robert Redford, and “Scarecrow” starring Al Pacino and Gene Hackman. “Scarecrow” won the Cannes Film Festival’s top honor – The Palme D’Or.

Rydell himself produced and directed “The Cowboys” starring John Wayne,“Cinderella Liberty” starring James Caan and Marsha Mason (who was nominated for an Academy award® as Best Actress), and “Harry and Walter Go To New York” starring Elliott Gould, James Caan, Michael Caine and Diane Keaton, followed by “The Rose” and “On Golden Pond.”

The director’s filmography went on to include “The River,” starring Sissy Spacek and Mel Gibson, “For The Boys” with Bette Midler and James Caan, “Intersection” starring Richard Gere and Sharon Stone, and “Crime of the Century” for HBO starring Stephen Rea and Isabella Rossellini, which earned five Golden Globe nominations including Best Picture.) Rydell also directed and produced TNT’s critically acclaimed “James Dean” (2001), and “Even Money,” starring Kim Basinger and Danny DeVito.

Rydell heads the Los Angeles-based production company, Concourse Productions, known for producing, amongst many others, “The Man In The Moon” (1991) starring Sam Waterston and Tess Harper, a film that also introduced the world to future Oscar winner Reese Witherspoon. Rydell is a Board Member of the Actors Studio and an Artistic Director of the Actors Studio West. He shares from his film making experience at universities and seminars all over the country.

To attend this week’s highly anticipated event, go to CONVERSATIONS ON CRAFT.

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