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John Cassavetes

Actor, Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Editor

Died when: 59 years 56 days (709 months)
Star Sign: Sagittarius


John Cassavetes

John Nicholas Cassavetes (/ˌkæsəˈvɛtiːz/ KASS-ə-VET-eez;December 9, 1929 – February 3, 1989) was an American actor, film director, and screenwriter.

First known as a television and film actor, Cassavetes also helped pioneer American independent cinema, writing and directing movies financed partly by income from his acting work.

AllMovie called him "an iconoclastic maverick", while The New Yorker suggested in 2013 that he "may be the most influential American director of the last half century." As an actor, Cassavetes starred in notable Hollywood films throughout the 1950s and 1960s, including Edge of the City (1957), The Dirty Dozen (1967), and Rosemary's Baby (1968).

He began his directing career with the 1959 independent feature Shadows and followed with independent productions such as Faces (1968), Husbands (1970), A Woman Under the Influence (1974), Opening Night (1977), and Love Streams (1984).

He intermittently continued to act and direct on studio projects such as Elaine May's Mikey and Nicky (1976) and his own directorial works A Child is Waiting (1963), Minnie and Moskowitz (1971), and Gloria (1980).

Cassavetes's films employed an actor-centered approach which prioritized raw character relationships and "small feelings" while rejecting traditional Hollywood storytelling, method acting, or stylization.

His films became associated with an improvisational, cinéma vérité aesthetic.He collaborated frequently with a rotating group of actors and crew members, including his wife Gena Rowlands and friends Peter Falk, Ben Gazzara, and Seymour Cassel.

Many of his films were shot and edited in his and Rowlands' own Los Angeles home.For his role in The Dirty Dozen, Cassavetes received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

As a filmmaker, he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Faces (1968) and the Academy Award for Best Director for A Woman Under the Influence (1974).

The Independent Spirit Awards named the John Cassavetes Award in his honor.

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