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Than Wyenn

Than Wyenn Obituary
May 2, 1919 - January 30, 2015 Than Wyenn, accomplished actor, generous teacher, and loving husband, father, brother, and grandfather, passed away peacefully the morning of January 30, 2015 at the age of 95 with his wife and family by his side at the Motion Picture & Television Fund in Woodland Hills, CA. Born to Benjamin and Sadie in New York City on May 2, 1919, Than was the third of four children. At a Madison House dance, 13-year old Than met 11-year old Guy and the two have been inseparable ever since. Than and his beloved wife Guy have been married for 71 years; Than was a deeply devoted husband, companion, and soul mate. He was also a loving and devoted father to their two sons Joel and Neil, father-in-law to Tina and Ellen, and cherished grandfather to their five grandchildren Morgan, Diana, Michael, Shane and Brittany Lauren. Than found his passion at an early age beginning his acting career as a teenager at a settlement house in New York City before studying with Harry Coult, Lee Strasberg, and Michael Chekhov, and touring nationally with a Shakespearean troupe. During WWII, Than helped the war effort by joining the land army and working on a farm in Vermont. After the war, Than married Guy and they moved to Los Angeles where he starred in the celebrated world premiere production of "Once Upon a Tailor" at The Circle Theater catching the eye of theatrical agent Meyer Mishkin and launching a forty-year career in film and television. Best known for "Beginning of the End," "Zorro," "Imitation of Life," "Twilight Zone," "Being There," and "Splash," Than's credits include more than 120 television appearances and 30 feature films. A proud member of Actors' Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, he became a voting member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1966. Than was also a distinguished Jewish humorist and dramatist playing to synagogues and Jewish organizations, worked for thirty-seven years as the Drama Consultant for the Los Angeles Bureau of Jewish Education, created the Yiddish Kinder Theater, and was the founding director of Camp Hess Cramer. His work in the Jewish community was honored with a resolution of tribute from the Los Angeles City Council. Later in life, he and his wife Guy became world travelers, documenting Jewish life throughout the world. As part of their travels, he led tour groups to India, exploring Jewish communities both historic and present. He received Israel's State Medal of Honor for his photographs of Jewish subjects from the Museum of the Diaspora in Tel Aviv where his collection has been donated. In his senior years, he also became an accomplished painter. Than was an incredibly special person; his loving spirit touched and inspired many, most of all, his family. He will be greatly missed. A private family interment service will be held at Mt. Sinai. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles (jewishla.org) or Bridge House (boulderbridgehouse.org), where his granddaughter works.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 1, 2015
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