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LOS ANGELES – Lew Palter, a veteran character actor who played Macy’s co-founder Isidor Straus in the 1997 film “Titanic,” has died at the age of 94.

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Palter died May 21 of lung cancer at his Los Angeles home, his daughter, Catherine Palter, told The Hollywood Reporter.

The actor was also an acclaimed teacher at CalArts School of Theater, where he worked from 1971 until his retirement in 2013, Entertainment Tonight reported.

It has been said that Straus, played by Palter in the movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, refused to board a lifeboat because there were still women and children who had not been evacuated. His wife refused to leave his side as the “unsinkable” ship was going down.

The Strauses, among the wealthiest passengers on the RMS Titanic, are the great-great-grandparents of Wendy Rush, whose husband — OceanGate Expeditions CEO Stockton Rush died aboard the Titan submersible last week during a dive to the Titanic wreckage.

Palter, a Brooklyn, New York, native, played a Supreme Court justice in the 1981 film, “First Monday in October,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. He also played a judge on television on “The Flying Nun,” “Hill Street Blues” and “L.A. Law,” the entertainment news website reported.

Palter also portrayed a Los Angeles police detective on the 1976-77 series “Delvecchio,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

At CalArts, Palter’s students included “Saturday Night Live” alumnus Cecily Strong and Academy Award nominees Don Cheadle and Ed Harris, according to Entertainment Tonight.

“It is with great sadness that we share the news that longtime #calartstheater faculty Lew Palter has passed away,” the school tweeted. “Lew retired from @CalArts in 2013, having served our community since 1971 as an acting teacher, director, and mentor.”

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“Lew loved the craft of acting, and taught his students to do the same,” CalArts School of Theater Dean Travis Preston said in a statement. “He fostered deep curiosity, care, intellect, and humor in every scene, play, and class. He had the utmost respect of his students, and encouraged all to find truth in their work and lives,” said Preston. “His legacy is carried forth in the many careers, lives, and stories he touched, and our collective CalArts thoughts are with his family, friends, and theater community who loved him so.”

Palter’s whose wife of 64 years, Nancy Vawter, died in November 2020, Entertainment Tonight reported. He is survived by their daughter and three grandchildren.