Elizabeth Kemp

Elizabeth Kemp
Born (1958-11-05) November 5, 1958
Key West, Florida, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater American Academy of Dramatic Arts
Occupation Actress, acting coach
Years active 1958–present
Website www.elizabethkemp.com

Elizabeth Kemp (born November 5, 1958) is an American actress and acting coach.

Early life

Kemp was born in Key West Florida, the daughter of Nancy Jean (Haycock) and Joseph Clifton Kemp, a business executive and Navy Officer/Test Pilot who was stationed at the Pentagon.[1] Kemp showed talent as a child painter from the ages of 13 to 16, graduating from High School with a special award for Creative Achievement. At 16 Kemp traveled to the Rhode Island School of Design but was told to wait a year. She instead went to New York City and studied at The Art Students League and American Academy of Dramatic Arts.


Kemp was in the original cast of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, which began at The Actors Studio. Her great mentor, Elia Kazan, took Tennessee Williams to see Kemp in this production and when Williams was looking for the actress to play Baby Doll in the world premiere of one of his last plays, Tiger Tail. After the performance Williams gave her the part; an experience that proved to be most extraordinary, in that she worked closely with Tennessee Williams daily in developing the role. Kemp's career has included playing opposite Christopher Reeve, Tom Hanks and Kevin Kline. Kemp has worked across the country at The California Actors Theatre in San Francisco, Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Folger Theatre in Washington, D.C., Center Stage in Baltimore and Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia.

Kemp received the GLAAD Award for her work on L.A. Law (1986).

As a director Kemp was responsible for many productions at The Actors Studio including "The Glass Menagerie", The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh and the world premier of Free Gift Inside by Edward Allan Baker. Kemp is directing the 2013 production of Waiting For Godot.

Off Broadway Kemp directed La Magnani at The Arclight Theater.

Internationally Kemp directed The Stronger and Homesick at Strindbergs Original Intima Theater in Stockholm and Dreamstories at The Claude LeLouche Theatre Cine 13 in Paris and at La Spazia Teatro in Rome.

Kemp became a Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio in 1975.[2]

Kemp was interviews by Martin Scorsese alongside Al Pacino and many others for his Peabody awarding winning documentary film honoring the legendary Elia Kazan.


CNN - Actress' Role of a Lifetime: Being A Mentor [3]

The New York Times - Actors Use Dreams to Understand Characters They Play - The Role of Their Dreams[4]

Washington Post - Gold Standard [5]


Year Title Role Notes
2015 Emperor of the Free World Olympias Filming
2014 Welcome to New York Florence
2013 Manito: Brother's Sacrifice Lori Short, completed
2013 A Crack in Everything Constance Marshall
2012 Thanks Dad Mom Winner Final 8 "TROPFEST" 2012
2005 Pills Margaret Nolan Short Film
2003 Law & Order Debbie Grimes Television Series - Episode "Blaze"
2001 Law & Order Laila Jacobs Television Series - Episode "School Daze"
1995 Animal Room Shelly's Mom
1992 Venice/Venice Interviewee
1992 Mom I Can Do It Jane Morris
1991 L.A. Law Maggie Barnes Television Series - Episode "The Nut Before Christmas"
1991 Murderous Vision Ellen Green T.V Movie
1990 Eating Nancy
1990 Thirtysomething Kate Television Series - Episode "The Distance"
1990 Challenger Jane Smith TV Movie
1990 Family of Spies Kay
1988 Police Story: Burnout Patricia TV Movie
1988 Vietnam War Story Lynn Television Series - Episode "Dusk to Dawn"
1988 Sticky Fingers Nancy
1982 The Clairvoyant Virna Nightbourne
1981 I Can Jump Puddles Receptionist Television Series - Episode "Getting Your Breath"
1980 He Knows You're Alone Nancy
1979 Skyways Rosemary Television Series - Episode "Bird Strike"
1973-1977 Love of Life Betsy Crawford


  1. "Elizabeth Kemp Biography (1957-)". filmreference.com.
  2. Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 278. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.
  3. Leopold, Todd (2012-02-13). "Actress' role of a lifetime: Being a mentor - CNN.com". CNN. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  4. Kershaw, Sarah (2009-05-06). "Actors Use Dreams to Understand Characters They Play - The Role of Their Dreams - The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-11-12.
  5. Hornaday, Ann (2009-02-22). "Special Affects: If the Stars Make You Forget Who They Are, That's Greatness - washingtonpost.com". The Washington Post. Gold Standard. Retrieved 2015-11-11. Print page M01.
  6. "Elizabeth Kemp". IMDb.

External links

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