Home Movie CraftsActors & Actresses Dialect Coach Robert Easton: ‘Henry Higgins of Hollywood’

Dialect Coach Robert Easton: ‘Henry Higgins of Hollywood’

Actor and dialect coach Robert Easton, known as the “Henry Higgins of Hollywood,” died of “natural causes” on Friday, Dec. 16, in the Los Angeles suburb of Toluca Lake. Easton was 81.

Even if he never coached My Fair Lady/Pygmalion‘s Audrey Hepburn, Julie Andrews, or Wendy Hiller, according to the Los Angeles Times obituary Easton’s dialect students included Anne Hathaway, Liam Neeson, John Travolta, Patrick Swayze, Ben Kingsley, Charlton Heston, Arnold Schwarzenegger (who learned to talk with a Russian accent, as per the Times), and Forest Whitaker, who learned to talk like Idi Amin Dada for his Oscar-winning role in The Last King of Scotland.

When not coaching, Easton taught at UCLA and USC. Additionally, he had small supporting roles in movies such as Joshua Logan’s Paint Your Wagon (1969), starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Marvin, and Jean Seberg; Mike NicholsWorking Girl (1988), with Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver, and Harrison Ford; and Nichols’ Primary Colors (1998), with Travolta and Emma Thompson. Easton also played a Klingon judge in Nicholas Meyer’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).

In a curious note about the workings of the American justice system, as mentioned in the Times obit Easton also coached “non-celebrities, such as the New York lawyer who was losing cases in California because juries, hearing his nasal, rapid speech, judged him slick and impatient.” According to Easton, the lawyer started winning cases after he helped him change his speech patterns.

0 comment

Recommended for You

Leave a Comment

*IMPORTANT*: By using this form you agree with Alt Film Guide's storage and handling of your data (e.g., your IP address). Make sure your comment adds something relevant to the discussion: Feel free to disagree with us, but *thoughtfulness* and *at least a modicum of sanity* are imperative. Abusive, inflammatory, spammy/self-promotional, baseless (spreading mis- or disinformation), and just plain deranged comments will be zapped, and, if we deem appropriate, reported. Lastly, links found in submitted comments will generally be deleted.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If you continue browsing, that means you've accepted our Terms of Use/use of cookies. You may also click on the Accept button on the right to make this notice disappear. Accept Read More