Best photos ( Ben Gazzara )

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Birth information

28 August 1930 Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

Death information

3 February 2012 Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

Given Name

Biagio Anthony Gazzara

Nickname

Benny

How tall is Ben Gazzara?

1.78 m

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

Elke Stuckmann
Janice Rule
Louise Erickson

Life Story of Ben Gazzara

Ben Gazzara's screen career began with two critically acclaimed roles as heavies in the late 1950s. He turned to television in the 1960s but made a big screen comeback with roles in three John Cassavetes films in the 1970s. The 1980s and 1990s saw Gazzara work more frequently than ever before in character parts. If he never became the leading man his early films and stage work promised, he had a career notable for its longevity. He was born Biagio Anthony Gazzara on August 28, 1930, in New York City. The son of a Sicilian immigrant laborer, he grew up on New York's tough Lower East Side. After seeing Laurette Taylor in "The Glass Menagerie," Gazzara decided he wanted to become an actor. He studied engineering (unhappily) but quit after receiving an acting scholarship (he worked under well-known coach Erwin Piscator).

Gazzara then joined the Actors Studio, where a group of students improvised a play from Calder Willingham's novel End as a Man. The tale of a brutal southern military academy reached Broadway slightly changed in 1953 but with Gazzara still in the principal role. It was a star making part (he won a Theatre World award) and he then played leads in the...

Significant features of Ben Gazzara

Often played characters whose charming veneer masked inner turmoil or even anguish
Smooth demeanor

How much money has Ben Gazzara earned?

Arrest and Trial (1963) $7,500 /week

Publications and Magazines about Ben Gazzara

Ben Gazzara In the Moment: My Life as an Actor. 2004

Biographical movies about Ben Gazzara

Premio Donostia a Ben Gazzara 2005

What movies did Ben Gazzara play or participate?

Directors Filmography
Beyond the Ocean (1990) , Columbo (1975) , The Name of the Game (1971) , Run for Your Life (1968) ,
Actors Filmography
Ristabbànna (2011) , Chez Gino (2011) Oncle Giovanni, Christopher Roth - Der Killer in dir! (2010) Paul Andersen, 13 (2010) Schlondorff, Holy Money (2009) Vatican's Banker, Eve (2008) Joe, Empire State Building Murders (2008) Paulie Genovese, Looking for Palladin (2008) Jack Palladin, Donne sbagliate (2007) Franco Maresco, And Quiet Flows the Don (2006) Gen. Secretov, The Shore (2006) Mr. Bob Harris,...

Birth information

28 August 1930 Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

Death information

3 February 2012 Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA

Given Name

Biagio Anthony Gazzara

Nickname

Benny

How tall is Ben Gazzara?

1.78 m

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

Elke Stuckmann
Janice Rule
Louise Erickson

Life Story of Ben Gazzara

Ben Gazzara's screen career began with two critically acclaimed roles as heavies in the late 1950s. He turned to television in the 1960s but made a big screen comeback with roles in three John Cassavetes films in the 1970s. The 1980s and 1990s saw Gazzara work more frequently than ever before in character parts. If he never became the leading man his early films and stage work promised, he had a career notable for its longevity. He was born Biagio Anthony Gazzara on August 28, 1930, in New York City. The son of a Sicilian immigrant laborer, he grew up on New York's tough Lower East Side. After seeing Laurette Taylor in "The Glass Menagerie," Gazzara decided he wanted to become an actor. He studied engineering (unhappily) but quit after receiving an acting scholarship (he worked under well-known coach Erwin Piscator).

Gazzara then joined the Actors Studio, where a group of students improvised a play from Calder Willingham's novel End as a Man. The tale of a brutal southern military academy reached Broadway slightly changed in 1953 but with Gazzara still in the principal role. It was a star making part (he won a Theatre World award) and he then played leads in the...

Significant features of Ben Gazzara

Often played characters whose charming veneer masked inner turmoil or even anguish
Smooth demeanor

How much money has Ben Gazzara earned?

Arrest and Trial (1963) $7,500 /week

Publications and Magazines about Ben Gazzara

Ben Gazzara In the Moment: My Life as an Actor. 2004

Biographical movies about Ben Gazzara

Premio Donostia a Ben Gazzara 2005

What movies did Ben Gazzara play or participate?

Directors Filmography
Beyond the Ocean (1990) , Columbo (1975) , The Name of the Game (1971) , Run for Your Life (1968) ,
Actors Filmography
Ristabbànna (2011) , Chez Gino (2011) Oncle Giovanni, Christopher Roth - Der Killer in dir! (2010) Paul Andersen, 13 (2010) Schlondorff, Holy Money (2009) Vatican's Banker, Eve (2008) Joe, Empire State Building Murders (2008) Paulie Genovese, Looking for Palladin (2008) Jack Palladin, Donne sbagliate (2007) Franco Maresco, And Quiet Flows the Don (2006) Gen. Secretov, The Shore (2006) Mr. Bob Harris,...

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Ben Gazzara and Ornella Muti in Das Mädchen von Triest (1982)

Father, with Janice Rule, of Elizabeth Gazzara.

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Ben Gazzara and Nicola Di Pinto in Der Professor (1986)

Lived with Elaine Stritch for two years.

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Ben Gazzara in Der Professor (1986)

He and his good friend John Cassavetes 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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Ben Gazzara in Der Professor (1986)

Attended NYC's famed Stuyvesant High School.

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Ben Gazzara and Laura del Sol in Der Professor (1986)

Shared a "purist's" approach to acting and choosing roles with Road House (1989) co-star Sam Elliott.

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Ben Gazzara in Der Professor (1986)

Diagnosed with throat cancer in 1999. He lost more than 40 pounds during treatment.

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Ben Gazzara in Der Professor (1986)

Died on the anniversary of the death of his close friend John Cassavetes, on February 3, 2012.

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Burt Lancaster, Ben Gazzara, Jean Benguigui, Cyrielle Clair, etc.

He studied drama at the Dramatic Workshop in Midtown Manhattan in New York City. He studied with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York City in 1951.

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Ben Gazzara and Ornella Muti in Das Mädchen von Triest (1982)

In the 1980s, he had a villa in Umbria, Italy, where he spent time in Italian films.

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Ben Gazzara and Ornella Muti in Das Mädchen von Triest (1982)

He is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth Gazzara, from his second marriage to Janice Rule; his third wife, Elke Gazzara (Elke Stuckmann) (married since 1982); his adopted daughter, Danja Gazzara, from Elke's previous marriage; and brother, Anthony Gazzara.

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Ben Gazzara and Ornella Muti in Das Mädchen von Triest (1982)

He met radio actress Louise Erickson, who would be his first wife. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1957. In 1961, he married actress Janice Rule and had a daughter, Elizabeth Gazzara. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1982. He met Elke Gazzara (Elke Stuckmann) in 1979 and married her in 1982.

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Ben Gazzara and Rita Moreno in Blue Moon (2000)

He was born on the East Side of Manhattan in New York City to Antonio Gazzara and Angela Cusumano Gazzara, both Italian immigrants. They often spoke Italian at home. He grew up in a building at 29th Street and 1st Avenue, where he slept on the fire escape in summer and occasionally heard screams from the patients at the Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital in New York City.

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Nicole Kidman and Ben Gazzara in Dogville (2003)

He caught the acting bug when he was 11 years old and watched one of his friends act in a play at the Madison Square Boys Club.

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Nicole Kidman and Ben Gazzara in Dogville (2003)

He and his Road House costar Patrick Swayze both died from pancreatic cancer. Swayze in 2009, and Gazzara in 2012.

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Nicole Kidman and Ben Gazzara in Dogville (2003)

Appearing on Broadway in a revival of Clifford Odets' "Awake and Sing". [April 2006]

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