Ben Gazzara, a tough-guy character actor, dead at 81
Gazzara's roots as an actor were in theater, but he delivered distinguished if edgy turns in Hollywood filmsComments (9)
BY JANON FISHER / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Friday, February 3, 2012, 9:19 PM
FRANK RUSSO/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
John Cassavettes, Peter Falk, Gena Rowlands and Ben Gazzara attend the Annual Film Critics Awards at the Rainbow Grill at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in January 1969. Gazzara collaborated professionally with these celebrities, who were also his friends.
MIKE COPPOLA/GETTY IMAGES
Actor Ben Gazzara and his wife, Elke, attend the 2011 National Board of Review of Motion Pictures Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street in January 2011.
Manhattan-born theater and movie character actor Ben Gazzara died Friday night in New York. He was 81.
The cause was pancreatic cancer, according to his lawyer, Jay Julien.
Gazzara, a respected theater actor who studied under Lee Strasburg at the Actors Studio, is best known for minor movie roles he played as tough guys, pornographers and degenerates in the 1980s and 90s.
Notably he played the part of Brick in the original 1955 Broadway production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”