Joanna Merlin has one child with her husband, David Dretzin, whose name is Julie Dretzin. Julie is an American actress and audiobook reader. In the 1993 Broadway production of The Sisters Rosensweig, she made her stage debut. She garnered positive reviews for her parts in the television programs The Handmaid’s Tale (2018–2019) and Breaking Bad (2010). Dretzin has voiced several books in a variety of accents, including ones intended for young readers.
Who is Joanna Merlin?
Joanna Merlin was an American actress and casting director who worked with Stephen Sondheim and starred in the original Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof.
Joanna Merlin biography
Joanna Merlin was born in Chicago, Illinois. Her parents, Toni Merlin and Harry Ratner, were of Jewish descent, and her father worked as a grocer. Joann had an older sister named Harriet Glickman, who would later gain recognition for her influential role in convincing Charles Schulz to introduce a black character in his Peanuts comic strip.
At the age of 11, Joann made her debut on stage in a community theater production called “Too Many Marys.” She went on to pursue her education at UCLA, where she successfully graduated.
Seeking further artistic development, Joann had the privilege of studying under the renowned acting teacher Michael Chekhov, becoming one of his last living and active students. Joann Ratner, now known as Joann Merlin, has made significant contributions to the field of acting and continues to pass on the teachings of Michael Chekhov to aspiring actors.
Joanna Merlin career explored
Merlin first appeared on screen in Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 film, The Ten Commandments. She later made her Broadway debut in Becket and played Tzeitel in Harold Prince’s production of Fiddler on the Roof.
Merlin left the cast of Fiddler on the Roof to care for her children, but Prince offered her the opportunity to become involved in casting with a more flexible schedule.
She served as the casting director for Company, Follies, Evita, and Sweeney Todd. In 1986, Merlin served as the casting director for John Carpenter’s film, Big Trouble in Little China. She also appeared in several feature films, including Fame, where she played Miss Olivia Berg, a classical dance teacher.
In 1992, Merlin appeared in the NBC crime drama Law & Order as a defense attorney. She went on to play other characters in the Law & Order franchise, including another defense attorney in the original show and a recurring role as Judge Lena Petrovsky in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. She appeared in every season of the latter between 2000 and 2011.
Joanna Merlin death: How did she die?
It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of Joanna Merlin, who peacefully departed on Sunday in Los Angeles at the age of 92. We are saddened to share this news, as Joanna had been an esteemed member of the faculty at the New York University Tisch Graduate Acting Program since 1998.
The announcement was made through an official post on the program’s Instagram page. We extend our heartfelt condolences to her family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time. Joanna Merlin’s contributions to the field of acting and her impact on countless aspiring actors will forever be remembered and cherished.
“Joanna was an actress, master Chekhov teacher, and former casting director for Harold Prince, Stephen Sondheim, Bernardo Bertolucci, and James Ivory,” the NYU message said. “Joanna will be deeply missed at Grad Acting, by the Chekhov community, and by the many people she touched through her artistry.”
Who is Joanna Merlin daughter, Julie Dretzin?
Joanna Merlin and her husband, David Dretzin, are proud parents to their daughter, Julie Dretzin. Julie is a highly accomplished American actress and renowned audiobook reader. She made her remarkable stage debut in the esteemed 1993 Broadway production of The Sisters Rosensweig.
Her exceptional talent has been widely recognized, earning her rave reviews for her outstanding performances in acclaimed television programs such as The Handmaid’s Tale (2018–2019) and Breaking Bad (2010). Additionally, Dretzin has lent her versatile voice to numerous audiobooks, skillfully portraying various accents, including those tailored for young readers.
In the 1993 Broadway production of The Sisters Rosensweig, Dretzin made her stage debut as Tess Goode. From March 3, 1993, to August 14, 1993, the play took place. She appeared in both the off-Broadway revival of Uncommon Women and Others and The Family of Mann in 1994. She made an appearance in the Hartford Stage Company’s 1995 production of A Dybbuk.