Dustin V. Felder, a renowned acting coach and entrepreneur, died on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019. He was 39.
He was born on April 29, 1980 in Philadelphia to the late Darryl V. Felder and Sharon M. Felder. He looked up to his older brother, Damon. He was a devoted father to his son, Dean.
Felder was educated at the Shawmont School. He then attended the High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) and graduated from Crefield High School in 1998.
He attended Delaware Technical Community College where he quickly identified his desire to become an entrepreneur. “Dus,” as he was affectionately known, was baptized at Deliverance Evangelistic Church under the leadership of Pastor Benjamin Smith. He attended Sunday school for many years and served on the Audio Ministry and the Youth choir.
Felder was an acting coach for the superstars in Hollywood. His films have amassed more than $1.7 billion dollars in the international box office sales to date.
In 2005, Felder entered the world of coaching and coached Will Smith’s son, Jaden, in the Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-nominated film “Pursuit of Happiness.” In 2007, the Smiths turned to Dustin to coach their daughter, Willow, in the block buster “I Am Legend” also starring Will Smith. Then Felder coached Will’s son Jaden, in the summer blockbuster “The Karate Kid.”
Felder was the acting coach for the Academy-nominated film, “Straight Outta Compton,” directed by F. Gary Gray, chronicling the lives of hip-hop legends NWA, released in 2015.
Equally impactful in the world of television, Felder was the acting coach for the ABC sitcom, “My Wife and Kids” in 2005. His ability to evoke emotions from veteran actors Tisha Campbell, Jennifer Freeman, and Noah Gray Cabey, quickly propelled the show to a #1 ranking. Felder coached another Wayans family show, “Second Generation Wayans,” aired on BET. He also became the acting coach on NBC’s Marlon, starring Marlon Wayans.
In 2010, he started Dustin Felder Acting Studio (DFAS) in Los Angeles, California. His mission was to cultivate a generation of premier working actors worldwide. In March 2017, Felder joined with Melvin Williams to form Williams Felder Acting Studio (WFAS-NYC) in New York. Later in September 2017, he and business partner Luis Stancil opened DFAS-ATL.
Service will be held Oct. 18 at Deliverance Evangelistic Church, 2001 W. Lehigh Ave. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial is in Ivy Hill Cemetery.