Ed Kovens (1934–2007) was an American SAG, AFTRA, and AEA actor. Furthermore he was a Method acting instructor based in New York City. He was a member of The Actor's Studio and worked with the legendary Lee Strasberg.
New York-bred Ed Kovens became a professional actor at 19 after acting and directing in high school and college. While studying at New York University in acting and directing, Kovens worked as a stand-up comic, did small parts and extra work in film and TV (mainly because of his age); directed some plays and reviews and did some Off-Off-Broadway leads.
In 1957, he started studying with Lee Strasberg in a small studio above the Capitol Theatre, then at Carnegie Hall, and subsequently, at the Actor's Studio (where he became a member in 1968) until Strasberg's death in 1982.
In 1965, a bunch of Strasberg students asked Kovens to form an exercise class - Strasberg's classes were packed, they wanted to work, and they felt Kovens had some expertise. Some major stars now, who were Strasberg's students then, were in that group. In 1969, he became a founding staff member of the Lee Strasberg Institute. In 1974, he left the Strasberg Institute and formed his own classes, called The Professional Workshop. Kovens having taught for over 40 years is one of the most experienced Method Acting teachers in the world. In 2006, Kovens wrote and published The Method Manual, a book for actors and teachers of acting.
Ed Kovens died on August 21, 2007. He is buried in Truro Cemetery, in Columbus Grove, Ohio, the hometown of his widow, Jill Anne Edwards.
Kovens can be seen in numerous film, television and theater productions. For television, Kovens has been in Law & Order, NYPD Blue, and 4Pla]. For film, The Gambler (with James Caan), The Bad Lieutenant (with Harvey Keitel) and Muggable Mary (with Karen Valentine). For Broadway, Kovens has been in over 75 productions, including Passione and Three Sisters.
- The Pursuit of Happiness (1971) - 1st Guard
- The Gambler (1974) - Ricky
- Q (1982) - Second Robber
- Detective School Dropouts (1986) - Store Owner
- Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (1988) - Dempsey
- Bad Lieutenant (1992) - Monsignor
- Sissy Spacek (Academy Award winner)
- Jennifer Beals (Flashdance; The L Word)
- Sean Young (No Way Out)
- Robert Lulone (Tony Award nominee)
- Thomas Calabro (Melrose Place)
- Robert Costanzo over 200 films
- Loretta Devine "Dreamgirls"
- Chazz Palminteri (The Usual Suspects, etc.)
- Joe Seneca "The Verdict etc"
- Jill Anne Edwards (Manon, Barber of Seville)
- Debra Wiley (*) - (Opera singer/Acting Teacher)
- David Gideon Noted acting teacher
- Oki Ryujiro (Japanese actor)