Ellen Gerstein As An Actor

Ellen’s Resume  Ellen’s Reel I am honored to be the recipient of The Robert Proski Character Actor Award 2016.

I am honored to be the recipient of The Robert Proski Character Actor Award 2016.

I am honored to be the recipient of The Robert Proski Character Actor Award 2016.

The play: The Art of Self Defense The: Frannie

The play: The Art of Self Defense The: Frannie

Acting is my passion. I love the creative process. Serious actors need serious teachers. I am very fortunate to have had such wonderful teachers to shape my craft. I studied with Lee Strasberg in New York and followed him to Los Angeles. I went back and forth for a few years studying with him, and then settled in Los Angeles.

Nice weather, pretty flowers, good friends and great experiences. Another significant person who helped in developing my skills is Stella Adler. I studied script analysis with her for many years. I am a lifetime member of The Actor’s Studio, where I serve as a judge on the Audition Committee. 

Passage firm with a purpose

My romance with Film is undeniable I had a tremendous time in Atlanta, working on the new Marvel’s film Venom with Tom Hardy and Michelle Williams. I play the hilarious Mrs. Manfredi. The fabulous director Ruben Fleischer was a joy to work with. I am currently in three award winning films on the festival circuit. In the Golden Age I play one of the leads Kathryn O’Malley a broken women from years of a bad marriage. In Passage I play a lead June, a wacky wine loving hippy grandma. In the short comedy Firm With Purpose, I play Kathy a hovering helicopter smother of a mother.

Come Away With Me, is an international award winning short drama I directed and played the lead opposite Charlie Robinson. I was in love with the character Anne, who I believe is an everyday hero for having the guts to go after her dream. She inspired me to take more risks in my life. Before that I worked on two films, Americas Still the Place directed by Patrick Gilles. We shot in the Bay Area and Patrick was so easy to work with it was very fulfilling and like a vacation. I had a lot of fun working on Swelter directed by Keith Palmer staring Alfred Molina. It was shot at an Old Western Town north of Los Angeles in the middle of the night. I had a great experience working on Treasure of the Black Jaguar. I played the lead character’s mother, Mrs. Sheinberg, an overly caring mother who loves her son almost to death. Cameron Van Hoy and Mike Bruce wrote the wonderful script, and Mike Bruce directed it. I play Mrs. Johnson, an offbeat flirt in Miracle Man, also written and directed by Cameron Van Hoy. Throughout my career I have had the good fortune to work with many gifted actors including, Robert DeNiro, AlPacino, James Franco, Ted Dansen, John Hurt, Kathy Bates, Danny Divito, and Lainie Kazan to name a few. I have been lucky enough to work with such strong directors as Martin Scorsese, Mark Rydell, Paul Schraeder, Rob Marshall, and Mimi Ledeer.

Come Away With Me – Ann DuganTelevision is exciting with its creative shows and very inspiring and interesting characters. One of the exacting new shows is Liza on Demand, working with Liza Koshy the YouTube sensation was so much fun my character accuses her character of having an affair with my husband we had great chemistry. Anna Mastro was the director extraordinaire! I recently played Judge Judith Stein on Law & Order True Crimes: The Menendez Murders and was on Fresh Off The Boat. I recurred on Shameless, as the badass Aunt Rande. Whoa what fun was that. Who wouldn’t want to be a bad ass! I worked with Mimi Leder who is a real actor’s director. Talking about fun characters I was Crazy Carol, a homeless schizophrenic on the show Southland, directed by the awesome Allison Andres. On Jerry Bruckheimer’s series The Whole Truth, I recurred as Maura Tierney’s assistant Tina, a confident, strong, maternal character. In The James Dean Story, Mark Rydell did a wonderful job creating the feel of this great era in filmmaking and I really felt powerful portraying Ms. Deasy James Dean’s agent. I felt honored to be part of it. I was on location in Key West for the production of Murder of Crows with Cuba Gooding Jr. Loving what you do is true success.

Theater is a wonderful place to work hard on your craft and connect with actors and the audience! I have been in many theater productions and have had the wonderful opportunity to create many interesting characters. In The Traveler, at the Mark Taper, I created Ann, John Glover’s private duty nurse. As well as, Ruthie in Potroast at the Actors Gang, Shirley in Sit and Shiver, a play by Steven Berkoff, at the Odyssey, Rosalie in the play Angel Share at the Tiffany, with Paula Prentiss. I co-wrote and co-produced Club Disco and created the character, Angie at the Lillian and Babs in Grandma Sylvia’s Funeral. I also acted in the wonderful Tennessee Williams play, Rose Tattoo, where I played Bessie. Then revived Bessie again in Tennessee Williams one act Perfect Analysis Given By A Parrot. I also wrote and performed an award winning one-woman show called My Psychotherapy Comeback Tour. It was in the LA Woman’s Festival, New York Fringe Festival, it also won semi-finalist in the Samuel French short play contest. The show went on to the Harold Clurman Theater in New York. I love developing characters. The accomplishment of having the audience connect to my character in some way touches my heart.

In the exciting new genre of Web-series I have had the pleasure of developing some wonderful comedic characters. I created my own series Sylvia Just Sayin’ . Sylvia Utnick my alter ego is an extremely opinionated and outspoken single lady. Being in the “NOW” is of the utmost importance to her.


In Broke Ass Rich Kids, comedy web-series, I play Katia, the sassy and sarcastic Russian mother who trying to cut the financial umbilical cord from her son, Sid (Allen Landver also writer/director). Katia has a handsome young lover, oooh that was fun!


In Dirty Cops, a black comedy, I play Rita a depressed chain-smoking, complaining, annoying mother of Jack, a New York Cop, played by Michael Friedman (Writer/director).


Baby Boomer Bunies a web series, A bunch of Bunnies by the pool


In Baby Boomer Bunnies.  I am bunny mother Ellen who has a bunny hutch in Malibu for retired New York Playboy Bunnies who worked there in the 1960’s and 70’s. A comedy series about “women of certain age” and all who love them! (Writer/director Jan Riesman)


At present I am working on my upcoming Web Series Globe Trotting from Home with L.E Sue the global guru who takes on a Staycation to your dream destination. It will be a lot of fun and I am sure you will all want to come on the adventure.




I’m looking forward to my upcoming web series Has Anybody Seen Dr. Jeannee Sebel, about the search for a genius homeless psychotherapist, who uses unconventional therapeutic modalities that she has brilliantly created.

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