Howard Fine (November 28, 1958) is an American acting teacher, the founder of the Howard Fine Acting Studio in Hollywood, CA, and a theatre director.
Howard Fine was born on November 28, 1958 in Providence, Rhode Island. He is the youngest of 5 children. His parents Max, an American GI, and Nelly, a Holocaust survivor, married in Shanghai, China, before Max returned to the US with Nelly as a war bride.
Due to a fluke scheduling conflict between French and German classes, Fine ended up taking his first theatre class in high school. His drama teacher spotted Fine's directing talent and gave him his first play to direct, Edward Albee's The Sandbox, at age 16.
Fine was first introduced to his mentor, Uta Hagen's, work while in the same high school drama class. His teacher taught from Hagen’s first book, Respect for Acting,” and he would take the theatre classes to New York to watch classes at Hagen's HB studios. Fine and Hagen remained close friends until her death.
After completing graduate school in Boston, Fine moved to New York where he landed his first teaching job at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. After one semester of teaching, he was promoted to head the Acting Department at the young age of 24 making him the youngest chair in the studio’s history.
Career as an acting teacher
In 1985, Fine moved to Los Angeles with his best friend, voice coach David Coury. Fine began his career in Los Angeles by privately coaching students in his living room, but in 1988 had to expand to accommodate his growing classes. His studio relocated three times before occupying its present location (formerly the Hollywood Playhouse) on North Las Palmas Avenue in Hollywood.
Fine received recognition for his teaching in 2006 when named “Best Acting Teacher in Los Angeles” in Back Stage West’s “Best of Los Angeles” issue.
In addition to being an acting coach, Fine is also an accomplished theatre director. He directed Michael Chiklis in his Broadway debut in Rob Becker's Defending the Caveman . He recently directed Elizabeth Berkeley, Ally Sheedy and Rachel Dratch in David Lindsay-Abaire's That Other Person as part of the Best of the 24-hour plays on Broadway. He won a Drama-logue award and an Ovation Award nomination for his direction of Billy Campbelll in Fortinbras.
Fine is the author of Fine on Acting: A Vision of the Craft, from Havenhurst Books. In the book, Fine offers specifics on the acting technique he has taught for over twenty-five years. The book also features a forward by actor Michael Chiklis.
For five consecutive years, Fine has been asked by the Los Angeles Times to analyze the acting of the Oscar Nominees. His Oscar commentary has been featured on Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Access Hollywood, E, Sky TV, BBC and CNN. In addition to the Los Angeles Times, Fine has been quoted in The Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and USA Today Weekend, and has spoken on numerous radio shows nationwide.
Fine has appeared as himself in numerous reality shows including, Dance Moms, Confessions of a Teen Idol, Next Action Star, The Anna Nicole Show, MTV's The Big Picture, It Girls, Twenty Four-Seven, and on many E! True Hollywood Story and Biography. He also appeared as himself in the film Spiritual Warriors.
Fine's favorite charity is Project Angel Food. He directed 10 consecutive years of the critically acclaimed benefit Divas Simply Singing, which featured such artists as Roberta Flack, Tina Arena, Melissa Manchester, The Pussycat Dolls, Whoopi Goldberg and Sharon Stone. He, along with Producer Paul Papile, created In Concert, which benefits Project Angel Food and has featured such artists as Deborah Gibson, Michael Chiklis, James Belushi, Sam Harris and Tisha Campbell-Martin.
Past and present students
- Information provided by Howard Fine