Lew Palter, best remembered for portraying Isidor Straus in the classic film “Titanic,” died at 94. According to his daughter, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Palter died of lung cancer.
While Palter’s spectacular performance in “Titanic” left an indelible mark, his true calling was teaching. Palter dedicated himself to instructing young actors at the famous CalArts School of Theater after his unforgettable on-screen moment with his imaginary wife when they met a tragic and horrific fate.
CalArts responded quickly to the news of his death, which had recently reached a larger public, with a statement on its Instagram account paying tribute to the senior faculty member.
“Lew retired from CalArts in 2013 after a remarkable four-decade career as an acting instructor, director, and mentor.” His enthusiasm for acting was contagious, and he instilled in every scene, play, and class a tremendous feeling of attention, compassion, intellect, and comedy.”
Palter’s departure signaled the departure of another great performer from the “Titanic” cast. David Warner, who played Spicer Lovejoy in the film, died last year in July 2022.
The intertwining of histories can sometimes produce strange coincidences. Palter passed away just before the Titanic submarine’s tragic explosion, which killed all five aboard while on an expedition to explore the ship’s wreckage, captured the entire world’s attention.
Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate, the corporation in charge of the disastrous operation, was among those killed. Interestingly, Stockton’s widow, Wendy Rush, clearly relates to the character Palter portrayed, Isidor Straus.
The Straus Historical Society confirmed that Wendy Weil Rush, Stockton Rush’s wife and now widow, is the great-great-granddaughter of Isidor and Ida Straus, who perished in the Titanic catastrophe.
“Minnie, Wendy’s great-grandmother, was one of Isidor and Ida’s three daughters.” Minnie married Richard Weil, and their descendants include Wendy.
Wendy has yet to address the public as she mourns the untimely death of her spouse. Unfortunately, the legal ramifications of this tragedy may exacerbate her grief.
According to ABC 7 Chicago, Wendy, a member of the expedition team and the communications chief for OceanGate may face legal action from the families of the fatalities despite the waivers supposedly signed by the crew members.
Wendy and everyone concerned face a problem as they try to balance sorrow and negotiate the legal issues.”