Obituary: Letty Serra – CentralMaine.com
JUPITER ISLAND, Fla. — Letty Serra was a force of nature. Born on Mulberry Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1933, she was a New Yorker for life. Despite residing on Jupiter Island, Florida for the past three years, and despite her speech being cruelly stolen from her due to the progressive supranuclear palsy she valiantly battled, she would still manage to say “I am a New Yorker” with clarity and frequency. until a few days before his death. The eighth of nine children born to Italian immigrant parents, she forged her own path, determined to have a life in the theater. She was a serious student growing up and went to UCLA where she earned a BA in theater and an MA in English, Cum Laude. It was there that she met her husband, William Becker. She was 5ft tall and he is 6ft 3in. Watching them dance always made everyone smile. Together they returned to his hometown of New York and were married at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on September 9, 1974. They had a daughter, Alexandra, two years later. After devoting the next years of her life to being a mother and teaching in a Catholic school, she resumed her theatrical career, becoming a mentor to many young actors new to New York. During her life, Serra has played every role in the theatre: screenwriter, director, actress, coach, consultant, producer. She was 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 was director of the Actor’s Conservatory at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, NY, served as executive director of the Stella Adler Theater in Los Angeles, and was acting professor of film/television at the Screen Actors Guild Conservatory in New York. Serra has directed plays on both coasts and has appeared in over 20 film and television productions and over 25 stage productions. As a writer, she wrote the one-act play Lotto and co-wrote the screenplay for the award-winning film, “Say Nothing”, winning the 2016 London Film Festival award for Best Film Script, as well as 12 other film awards. Serra has 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 played in Uncle Vanya. It was his last time on stage. Serra kept the same friends for over 50 years. She was loyal, passionate, opinionated, judgmental, generous, funny, and loved food, fashion, and art. A ballet dancer in her youth, she took dance lessons until her body no longer allowed it. She always had a little dog by her side. She was a devout Catholic. She was predeceased by her eight siblings and outlived her Pomeranian, Bianca; her extraordinarily devoted husband of 48 years, William Becker; his daughter, Alexandra Serra-Wolfington, his son-in-law Harry Wolfington; many decades-long friends; and several nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and even great-great-great-nieces and nephews. One nephew that deserves full mention is his godson, Luddy DePasquale, who was deeply invested in helping him through his life until the very end. All are welcome 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 mass will be held Saturday, May 14 at 11 a.m., at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 12 Summer St., Hallowell, Maine. Interment will take place at St. Mary’s Cemetery (Pelton Hill) in Manchester, Maine immediately after Mass. The post-interment reception will be held at Augusta Country Club, 19 Hammonds Grove, Manchester, Maine 04351. If you would like to send flowers, please call Augusta Florist at 207-626-2808. Arrangements are entrusted to Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta, ME 04330. A scholarship has been established in her name at Stella Adler Studio in New York. To donate, go to: https://ste-web.scansoftware.com/cafeweb/tapestry?service=external/DonationPage, see Gift Purpose 1 drop-down menu. Letty Serra’s name is second from from the top.