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Obituary: Letty Serra – CentralMaine.com

Letty Serra

JUPITER ISLAND, Fla. — Letty Serra was a force of nature. Born in 1933 on Mulberry Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, she remained a New Yorker her whole life. Despite her three-year residency on Jupiter Island, Fla., and even though her speech was cruelly stripped from her due to the progressive supranuclear palsy she bravely battled, she still managed to say “I’m a New Yorker” with clarity and frequency up until a few days before her death. The eighth of nine children of Italian immigrants, she forged her own path, determined to pursue a life in the theater. Growing up as a serious student, she made her way to UCLA, where she earned both a BA in Theater and an MA in English, cum laude. There she met her husband William Becker. She was 5 feet tall and he is 6 feet 3 inches tall. Watching them dance always made everyone smile. Together they returned to their hometown of New York City and were married on September 9, 1974 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Two years later they had a daughter, Alexandra. After devoting the next few years of her life to mothering and teaching at a Catholic school, she resumed her theater career and became a mentor to many young actors new to New York City. Throughout her life, Serra has played every role in theater: writer, director, actress, coach, consultant, producer. She has been a member of New York Women in Film and TV, SAG-AFTRA, American Federation of Television Radio Artists, and Actor’s Equity Association. She founded and directed the Actor’s Conservatory at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, NY, was Executive Director of The Stella Adler Theater in Los Angeles, and a Film/TV Acting Instructor at the Screen Actors Guild Conservatory in New York. Serra has directed plays on both coasts and has appeared in over 20 films and television productions and more than 25 stage productions. As a writer, she wrote the one-act play Lotto and co-wrote the award-winning screenplay Say Nothing, which received the 2016 London Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay and 12 other film awards. Serra taught public speaking at New York University and Mercy College. At 80, she returned to the Stella Adler Center for the Arts in Manhattan and starred in Uncle Vanya. It was her last time on stage. Serra had the same friends for over 50 years. She was loyal, passionate, opinionated, judgmental, generous, funny, and loved food, fashion, and art. A ballet dancer from a young age, she took dance classes until her body wouldn’t allow her anymore. She always had a little dog by her side. She was a devout Catholic. She was predeceased of all eight of her siblings and survived by her Pomeranian Bianca; her extraordinarily devoted husband, William Becker of 48 years; her daughter Alexandra Serra-Wolfington, son-in-law Harry Wolfington; numerous decades-long friends; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and even great-grandnies and nephews. One nephew that deserves full mention is her godson, Luddy DePasquale, who devoted himself deeply to supporting her life to the literal end. All are invited to celebrate this remarkable lady. The bigger the crowd, the happier she was. Please help fill the house for her final performance. A Christian funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 14 at 11 am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 12 Summer St., Hallowell, Maine. Burial will take place immediately after Mass at St. Mary’s (Pelton Hill) Cemetery in Manchester, Maine. The post-funeral reception will be held at Augusta Country Club, 19 Hammonds Grove, Manchester, Maine 04351. If you would like to send flowers, please send flowers Call Augusta Florist at 207-626-2808. The arrangements are in the care of the Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta, ME 04330. A grant has been established in her name at the Stella Adler Studio in NYC. To donate, go to: https://ste-web.scansoftware.com/cafeweb/tapestry?service=external/DonationPage, look at the “Gift purpose 1” dropdown menu. Letty Serra’s name comes second.

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