Lew Palter, Actor Who Played Isidor Straus In Titanic, Dead At 94

Actor Lew Palter, known for playing Isidor Straus in “Titanic,” has died at the age of 94. According to The Hollywood Reporter, who spoke with Palter’s daughter, the beloved actor succumbed to lung cancer on May 21. Although Palter’s onscreen contributions spanned far beyond his emotional scene in “Titanic,” where Palter and his onscreen wife braved a cold, tragic end together, teaching was his ultimate passion. Palter previously worked for the CalArts School of Theater.

Although the news is just reaching wider audiences, CalArts honored Palter at the time of his death. “It is with great sadness that we share the news that longtime School of Theater faculty Lew Palter has passed away,” read a statement posted to the school’s Instagram. “Lew retired from CalArts in 2013, having served our community since 1971 as an acting teacher, director, and mentor. Lew loved the craft of acting, and taught his students to do the same. He fostered deep curiosity, care, intellect, and humor in every scene, play, and class.”

Palter is the latest “Titanic” star to die. David Warner, who took on the role of Spicer Lovejoy, died in July 2022.

Sometimes, history’s synchronicities can make the hairs on your arm stand at attention. For example, Lew Palter’s death came roughly one month before the world became obsessed with the Titan submersible, which imploded and killed the five people on board during an attempt to visit Titanic’s remains, per BBC. One of the victims was Stockton Rush, who was the CEO of OceanGate, the company responsible for the whole operation.

What is interesting is that Stockton’s surviving wife, Wendy Rush, is related to Isidor Straus, the very man Palter played in “Titanic” years ago. “Wendy Weil Rush, the wife/widow of Stockton Rush, CEO of OceanGate, is the great-great-granddaughter of Isidor and Ida Straus who lost their lives in the Titanic disaster,” read a statement by The Straus Historical Society (via Today). “Her great-grandmother was Minnie, one of three daughters of Isidor and Ida. Minnie married Richard Weil.”

So far, Wendy has not commented on her husband’s untimely passing. Unfortunately, her grieving period may be impacted by the lawsuits that may result from this tragedy. Wendy worked for OceanGate as the director of communications and was also an expeditions team member. According to ABC 7 Chicago, the victims’ families may be able to hold OceanGate legally responsible, despite the seemingly ironclad wavers the crew members signed.