Veteran Hollywood Film & Broadway Actor Ben Gazzara Dies of Pancreatic Cancer at Age 81


Another Hollywood and Broadway icon has passed away … Ben Gazzara, Rest in Peace. 

Ben Gazzara, best known for his collaborations with director John Cassavetes, has died at the age of 81 from pancreatic cancer. As reported by NBC, Gazzara fittingly died the same day that Cassavetes did more than twenty years ago. Gazzara had a 60 year acting career on statge, film and TV. The veteran actor appeared in more than 100 film and TV movies.  Gazzara is survived by his third wife Elke Stuckmann, their daughter, and an adopted daughter as well as Gazarra’s brother, Anthony.

Ben Gazzara in “The Killing of a Chinese Bookie.”

Ben Gazzara: 1930 – 2012 … Rest in Peace

From the NY Times:

Ben Gazzara, an intense actor whose long career included playing Brick in the original “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” on Broadway, roles in influential films by John Cassavetes and work with several generations of top Hollywood directors, died on Friday in Manhattan. He was 81.

The cause was pancreatic cancer, his lawyer, Jay Julien, said. Mr. Gazzara lived in Manhattan.

Mr. Gazzara studied with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in Manhattan, where the careers of stars like Marlon Brando and Rod Steiger were shaped, and like them he had a visceral presence. It earned him regular work across half a century, not only onstage — his last Broadway appearance was in the revival of “Awake and Sing!” in 2006 — but in dozens of movies and all sorts of television shows, including the starring role in the 1960s series “Run for Your Life.”

How could the New York Times not mentioned ‘Road House’ with Patrick Swayze in their list of movie appearances?

IMBb – Ben Gazzara’s film career.

Great obit at the LA Times.

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