Eric Morris (actor)

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Eric Morris
Born (1931-11-19) November 19, 1931 (age 86)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California
Alma mater
Occupation Actor
Years active 1949–present
Spouse(s) Joy (2nd wife)
Military career
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch U.S. Army

Eric Morris (born November 19, 1931) is an American acting teacher and actor who founded his own theory of acting based on the works of Lee Strasberg and Martin Landau. Morris lives with his wife in Los Angeles and teaches actors the Eric Morris System of Acting.

Early life[edit]

His parents were Russian Immigrants; his father emigrated from Russia to the United States in 1912.[citation needed] Eric lived with his family in various apartments in a neighborhood inhabited chiefly by Jewish immigrants from Russia or Poland until, in seventh grade, when his father bought a house.

He spent some years as a Boy Scout, attaining the rank of Star Scout. He was a soda jerk at Walgreens, and at age fourteen spent some Saturdays doing stand-up comedy at a mafia nightclub. After a false start and a detour in therapy, Morris returned to Wright Junior College in 1950 and took up drama. He enrolled at Northwestern University School of Speech in 1952, as a junior theater major. Alvina Krause taught him acting, though he reports she did not like him; he got a "C" in the class. In 1978 he bought a house at Lake Arrowhead, fulfilling a wish he had made as a ten-year-old in 1941.[1]

The Eric Morris System[edit]

Having published over six books in his theory, Morris claims that his System is derived partly from Lee Strasberg's Method Acting. However, Strasberg's Method focuses too much on craft, according to Morris, and not enough on the actor's instrument. Facing struggle in finding truth, he contemplated his theory while heading the Directors Unit at the Actor's Studio in Los Angeles. Morris' method recognizes the fact that actors have emotional blocks, tension, insecurities and other preventions to achieving a fundamental state of being, and works to clear these blocks, rendering the actor truly organic. In this sense, Morris stresses that acting is essentially living and being.

There are seven major obligations to material, according to Eric: 1) Time and Place, 2) Relationship, 3) Emotional Obligation, 4) Character Obligation, 5) Historic Obligation, 6) Thematic Obligation, 7) Subtextual Obligation. After recognizing these 7 obligations, there are the choices the actor utilizes to render these emotions, and finally the approach to which the actors use these choices.

The Eric Morris System has received praise from such actors as Jack Nicholson and Johnny Depp.[citation needed]

Acting career[edit]

Morris has been acting since 1949. He is an original member of the Screen Actors Guild since 1954. He has worked in over 100 equity plays on stages across the US, including such stages as the Globe Theater and Chicago Rep. Morris has also worked in several television shows, including Lawman, Days of Our Lives, Hogan's Heroes, The New Phil Silvers Show and Fame. Furthermore, Morris has worked in over 25 major motion pictures, including Pork Chop Hill,[citation needed] Battle Beyond the Stars and Mirage.


Year Film Role Notes
1957 Monkey on My Back Soldier
1959 Holiday for Lovers Airforce Military Police Uncredited
A Private's Affair Orderly Uncredited
1960 Ma Barker's Killer Brood Fred Barker
1969 Strategy of Terror Tippo Alternative title: In Darkness Waiting
1976 My Friends Need Killing Dr. MacLaine
1980 Battle Beyond the Stars Feh
1983 Wavelength Dr. Vernon Cottrell
1989 Cipayos (la tercera invasión) English Colonel
1995 Mirage Police captain
1996 Eye for an Eye Columnist
2006 Love Hollywood Style Psychologist
Year Title Role Notes
1957 The Silent Service Soldier 19 episodes, uncredited
1959 Lawman Joey Young 1 episode
1961 Ben Casey Patient 1 episode
Dr. Kildare Doctor 1 episode, uncredited
1963–1964 The New Phil Silvers Show Stanley 4 episodes, uncredited
1965 Kraft Suspense Theatre Tippo 2 episodes
1969–1970 Hogan's Heroes Captain Streicker 2 episodes
1982 Fame Panel Member 1 episode
1988 Mathnet Wharfinger 1 episode
Square One Television Wharfinger 1 episode



  1. ^ a b Morris, Eric (2007). The Diary of a Professional Experiencer: An Autobiographical Journey Into the Evolution of an Acting System. 8004 Fareholm Drive, Los Angeles, California 90046: Ermor Enterprises. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 

External links[edit]