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Doreen Cannon was born and raised in New York City. She trained as an actress at the HB Studio in Manhattan for over 10 years with Uta Hagen and Herbert Berghof. Her contemporaries included Peter Falk, Geraldine Page, Sandy Dennis, Maureen Stapleton, Anne Meara and Jerry Stiller. She appeared in many plays off Broadway and in Summer Stock alongside such stars as Dorothy Lamour, Robert Alda, Alan Alda and Basil Rathbone. She married an English Property Developer David Cannon in NYC and came over to London in 1959. She was subsequently invited by George Devine to teach master workshops at The Royal Court Theatre. She was one of the first practitioners to bring over the Stanislavski technique - method acting from the USA. Subsequently, she was invited to be Head of Acting at Drama Centre London in 1963. This was the first "Method" school to open in the United Kingdom.