Best photos ( John Cassavetes )

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Birth information

9 December 1929 New York City, New York, USA

Death information

3 February 1989 Los Angeles, California, USA

Given Name

John Nicholas Cassavetes

How tall is John Cassavetes?

1.7 m

Who is(are) his/her spouse(s)?

Gena Rowlands

Life Story of John Cassavetes

John Cassavetes was a Greek-American actor, film director, and screenwriter. He is considered a pioneer of American independent film, as he often financed his own films.

Cassavetes was born in New York City in 1929 to Nicholas John Cassavetes and his wife, Katherine Demetre (1906-1983). Nicholas was an immigrant from Greece, while Katherine was Greek-American and had been born in New York City. The Cassavetes family moved back to Greece in the early 1930s, and John learned Greek as his primary language. The family moved back to the United States c. 1936, possibly to evade Greece's new dictatorship, the 4th of August Regime (1936-1941). The seven-year-old John had to learn to speak English.

Cassavetes spent his late childhood and most of his teenage years in Long Island, New York. From 1945 to 1947, he attended the Port Washington High School. He wrote for the school newspaper and the school yearbook. The 18-year-old Cassavetes was then transferred to the Blair Academy, a boarding school located in Blairstown, New Jersey.. When the time came for him to start college, Cassavetes enrolled at Champlain College, located in Burlington, Vermont. He was expelled...

Significant features of John Cassavetes

Extreme close-ups, with the image going in and out of focus
Realistic, documentary-like films

Publications and Magazines about John Cassavetes

Ray Carney The Films of John Cassavetes: Pragmatism, Modernism, and the Movies. 1994
Ray Carney John Cassavetes: The Adventure of Insecurity-A Pocket Guide to the Films (Studies in Contemporary Film). 2000
John Cassavtes, Ray Carney Cassavetes on Cassavetes. 2001
Marshall Fine Accidental Genius: How John Cassavetes Invented the American Independent Film. 2006
Ray Carney American Dreaming: The Films of John Cassavetes and the American Experience. 1985

Biographical movies about John Cassavetes

A Constant Forge 2000
Anything for John 1993
Sam Shaw on John Cassavetes 1990
Cassavetes: Claroscuro americano 2001
John Cassavetes: A Discussion 2000
I'm Almost Not Crazy: John Cassavetes - the Man and His Work 1984
An Actor's Look at John Cassavetes 2000
Songs for Cassavetes 2001

What movies did John Cassavetes play or participate?

Producers Filmography
Faces (1968) , Too Late Blues (1961) ,
Directors Filmography
Big Trouble (1986) , Love Streams (1984) , Gloria (1980) , Opening Night (1977) , The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) , A Woman Under the Influence (1974) , Columbo (1972) , Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) , Husbands (1970) , Faces (1968) , Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (1966) , The Lloyd Bridges Show (1963) , A Child Is Waiting (1963) , Too Late Blues (1961) , Johnny Staccato (1960) , Shadows...

Birth information

9 December 1929 New York City, New York, USA

Death information

3 February 1989 Los Angeles, California, USA

Given Name

John Nicholas Cassavetes

How tall is John Cassavetes?

1.7 m

Who is(are) his/her spouse(s)?

Gena Rowlands

Life Story of John Cassavetes

John Cassavetes was a Greek-American actor, film director, and screenwriter. He is considered a pioneer of American independent film, as he often financed his own films.

Cassavetes was born in New York City in 1929 to Nicholas John Cassavetes and his wife, Katherine Demetre (1906-1983). Nicholas was an immigrant from Greece, while Katherine was Greek-American and had been born in New York City. The Cassavetes family moved back to Greece in the early 1930s, and John learned Greek as his primary language. The family moved back to the United States c. 1936, possibly to evade Greece's new dictatorship, the 4th of August Regime (1936-1941). The seven-year-old John had to learn to speak English.

Cassavetes spent his late childhood and most of his teenage years in Long Island, New York. From 1945 to 1947, he attended the Port Washington High School. He wrote for the school newspaper and the school yearbook. The 18-year-old Cassavetes was then transferred to the Blair Academy, a boarding school located in Blairstown, New Jersey.. When the time came for him to start college, Cassavetes enrolled at Champlain College, located in Burlington, Vermont. He was expelled...

Significant features of John Cassavetes

Extreme close-ups, with the image going in and out of focus
Realistic, documentary-like films

Publications and Magazines about John Cassavetes

Ray Carney The Films of John Cassavetes: Pragmatism, Modernism, and the Movies. 1994
Ray Carney John Cassavetes: The Adventure of Insecurity-A Pocket Guide to the Films (Studies in Contemporary Film). 2000
John Cassavtes, Ray Carney Cassavetes on Cassavetes. 2001
Marshall Fine Accidental Genius: How John Cassavetes Invented the American Independent Film. 2006
Ray Carney American Dreaming: The Films of John Cassavetes and the American Experience. 1985

Biographical movies about John Cassavetes

A Constant Forge 2000
Anything for John 1993
Sam Shaw on John Cassavetes 1990
Cassavetes: Claroscuro americano 2001
John Cassavetes: A Discussion 2000
I'm Almost Not Crazy: John Cassavetes - the Man and His Work 1984
An Actor's Look at John Cassavetes 2000
Songs for Cassavetes 2001

What movies did John Cassavetes play or participate?

Producers Filmography
Faces (1968) , Too Late Blues (1961) ,
Directors Filmography
Big Trouble (1986) , Love Streams (1984) , Gloria (1980) , Opening Night (1977) , The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) , A Woman Under the Influence (1974) , Columbo (1972) , Minnie and Moskowitz (1971) , Husbands (1970) , Faces (1968) , Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre (1966) , The Lloyd Bridges Show (1963) , A Child Is Waiting (1963) , Too Late Blues (1961) , Johnny Staccato (1960) , Shadows...

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John Cassavetes in American Roulette (1969)

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John Cassavetes in American Roulette (1969)

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John Cassavetes in American Roulette (1969)

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John Cassavetes in American Roulette (1969)

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John Cassavetes and Britt Ekland in American Roulette (1969)

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John Cassavetes and Britt Ekland in American Roulette (1969)

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John Cassavetes, Eugene Hobgood, and Marilyn Randall in Mikey und Nicky (1976)

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Peter Falk and John Cassavetes in Mikey und Nicky (1976)

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Peter Falk and John Cassavetes in Mikey und Nicky (1976)

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Peter Falk and John Cassavetes in Mikey und Nicky (1976)

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John Cassavetes and Joyce Van Patten in Mikey und Nicky (1976)

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Peter Falk and John Cassavetes in Mikey und Nicky (1976)

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John Cassavetes in Mikey und Nicky (1976)

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John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands in Love Streams (1984)

Father of Nick Cassavetes, Xan Cassavetes and Zoe R. Cassavetes. Son of Nicholas John Cassavetes and Katherine Cassavetes.

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John Cassavetes in Love Streams (1984)

Friend/actor Peter Falk said: "Cassavetes was the most fervent man I ever met, and he didn't have a copy-cat bone in his body."

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John Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, and Robert Fieldsteel in Love Streams (1984)

A photograph of Cassavetes, taken during the production of his film Husbands (1970), appears on one stamp of a sheet of 10 USA 37¢ commemorative postage stamps, issued 25 February 2003, celebrating American Filmmaking: Behind the Scenes. The stamp honors directing.

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John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands in Love Streams (1984)

Educated at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.

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John Cassavetes in Love Streams (1984)

Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985". Pages 189-194. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.

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John Cassavetes in Love Streams (1984)

Friend/actor Peter Falk said: 'Every Cassavetes film is always about the same thing. Somebody said 'Man is God in ruins,' and John saw the ruins with a clarity that you and I could not tolerate.'.

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John Cassavetes and Margaret Abbott in Love Streams (1984)

In Ray Carney's "Cassavetes on Cassavetes" book, Cassavetes confessed to his parents that he wanted to be an actor. His father wasn't initially thrilled at the idea of his son being an actor, but told him that he had to work hard because he would be portraying human emotions truthfully.

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John Cassavetes in Love Streams (1984)

He was fully Greek in heritage.

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John Cassavetes and Eddy Donno in Love Streams (1984)

Auditioned for The Actors Studio when he was starting out as an actor, but was rejected.

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John Cassavetes and Jakob Shaw in Love Streams (1984)

Despite many claiming that his films are improvised, they are from completed scripts that came from improvised work by the actors. Another trademark of his films is that they're shot in documentary style.

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John Cassavetes in Love Streams (1984)

He and Gena Rowlands made ten movies together: A Child Is Waiting (1963), Faces (1968), Machine Gun McCain (1969), Minnie and Moskowitz (1971), A Woman Under the Influence (1974), Two-Minute Warning (1976), Opening Night (1977), Gloria (1980), Tempest (1982) and Love Streams (1984).

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John Cassavetes in Love Streams (1984)

Directed 3 different actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Seymour Cassel, Lynn Carlin and Gena Rowlands.

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John Cassavetes and Margaret Abbott in Love Streams (1984)

He and his good friend Ben Gazzara made 5 movies together: Husbands (1970), Capone (1975), If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969), Opening Night (1977) and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)

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John Cassavetes in Love Streams (1984)

He and close friend Peter Falk made six movies together: Machine Gun McCain (1969), Husbands (1970), A Woman Under the Influence (1974), Mikey and Nicky (1976), Opening Night (1977), Big Trouble (1986), and one movie made for TV: Columbo: Étude in Black (1972).

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John Cassavetes in Love Streams (1984)

As of 2007, he is one of only eight filmmakers to be nominated for best directing, writing, and acting Oscars over the course of their lifetime. The other seven are Orson Welles, Woody Allen, Warren Beatty, George Clooney, Roberto Benigni, John Huston and Kenneth Branagh.

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Ralph Bellamy, John Cassavetes, and Mia Farrow in Rosemaries Baby (1968)

Brother-in-law of David Rowlands.

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John Cassavetes in Der Tod eines Killers (1964)

As of 2013, he is one of six men who has directed his wife to a Best Actress Oscar nomination, and is the only one to have directed her to two such nominations (Gena Rowlands in A Woman Under the Influence (1974) and Gloria (1980)). The other five are Paul Czinner directing Elisabeth Bergner in Escape Me Never (1935), Paul Newman directing Joanne Woodward in Rachel, Rachel (1968), Richard Brooks directing Jean Simmons in The Happy Ending (1969), Blake Edwards directing Julie Andrews in Victor Victoria (1982), and Joel Coen directing Frances McDormand in Fargo (1996). Jules Dassin also directed his future wife Melina Mercouri in a Best Actress Oscar-nominated performance (Never on Sunday (1960)), though they were not yet married at the time of the nomination.

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John Cassavetes, Angie Dickinson, Norman Fell, etc.

One of the screening rooms at the Thessaloniki Film Festival is named after him.

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John Cassavetes and Angie Dickinson in Der Tod eines Killers (1964)

Adhered to the Stanislavsky School of Method Acting and taught acting classes in 1956 (in his own workshop that he started) prior to making the film Shadows (1958) .

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John Cassavetes and Angie Dickinson in Der Tod eines Killers (1964)

Acted in films by other directors in order to finance his own projects.

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John Cassavetes in Der Tod eines Killers (1964)

While some of his Hollywood films (such as Too Late Blues (1961)) lost money, his own movies were often hugely successful. Shadows (1958), filmed with non-professional actors on the streets of New York with a hand-held camera on 16mm black & white film, cost a mere $40,000 and recouped its cost many times over, winning the 1960 Critics Award at the Venice Film Festival. Another of his films, Faces (1968), cost $1 million and made ten times as much in profits, as well as taking out another five prizes in Venice in 1970.

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John Cassavetes in Der Tod eines Killers (1964)

Actor and film director who was regarded as a pioneer of American cinema verité.

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John Cassavetes and Angie Dickinson in Der Tod eines Killers (1964)

The New Yorker magazine said in 2013 that Cassavetes "may be the most influential American director of the last half century" --this on the eve of the screening of all of the films he directed, at the BAM Theater in Brooklyn, NY throughout July 2013.

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John Cassavetes and Claude Akins in Der Tod eines Killers (1964)

He was considered for the role of Tom Hagen in The Godfather (1972) before Robert Duvall was cast.

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John Cassavetes in Der Tod eines Killers (1964)

Retrospective: Screening of all the films Cassavetes directed, plus some he acted in, at Brooklyn Academy of Music, July 6-31. [July 2013]

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John Cassavetes and Angie Dickinson in Der Tod eines Killers (1964)

He played the brother of his real life wife Gena Rowlands in Love Streams (1984).

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John Cassavetes in Der Tod eines Killers (1964)

Retrospective at the 1st American Film Festival (2010) in Wroclaw, Poland.

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John Cassavetes and Britt Ekland in American Roulette (1969)

He directed Val Avery in five films: Too Late Blues (1961), Faces (1968), Minnie and Moskowitz (1971), The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) and Gloria (1980).

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John Cassavetes in American Roulette (1969)

He directed Fred Draper in five films: A Child Is Waiting (1963), Faces (1968), Husbands (1970), A Woman Under the Influence (1974) and Opening Night (1977).

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John Cassavetes in American Roulette (1969)

Wrote a scathing "Letter to the Editor", published in the January 23, 1970, issue of Life Magazine, which strongly criticized the magazine for publishing a now notorious photo of Charles Manson on the cover of its December 19, 1969, issue. Cassavetes had costarred in the horror movie Rosemary's Baby" (1968), directed by Roman Polanski, whose pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, had been among the unfortunate victims of the grisly cult killings.

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John Cassavetes in American Roulette (1969)

His son Nick is nearly a foot taller than him.

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John Cassavetes in American Roulette (1969)

Has never appeared in a film nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.

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John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands in American Roulette (1969)

He has directed three films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: Shadows (1958), Faces (1968) and A Woman Under the Influence (1974). He has also appeared in one film that is in the registry: Rosemary's Baby (1968).

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John Cassavetes and Britt Ekland in American Roulette (1969)

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