|Date of Birth||7 September 1909, Constantinople, Ottoman Empire [now Istanbul, Turkey]|
|Date of Death||28 September 2003, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA (natural causes)|
|Birth Name||Elias Kazancioglu|
The Actor's Director
|Height||5' 8" (1.73 m)|
Mini Bio (2)
Elia Kazan was a Greek-American director, producer, writer and actor. Noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins. He directed a string of successful films, including A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), On the Waterfront (1954), and East of Eden (1955). During his career, he won two Oscars as Best Director and received an Honorary Oscar, won three Tony Awards, and four Golden Globes.
His films were concerned with personal or social issues of special concern to him. Kazan writes, "I don't move unless I have some empathy with the basic theme." His first such "issue" film was Gentleman's Agreement (1947), with Gregory Peck, which dealt with anti-Semitism in America. It received 8 Oscar nominations and 3 wins, including Kazan's first for Best Director. It was followed by Pinky, one of the first films in mainstream Hollywood to address racial prejudice against black people. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), an adaptation of the stage play which he had also directed, received 12 Oscar nominations, winning 4, and was Marlon Brando's breakthrough role. In 1954, he directed On the Waterfront, a film about union corruption on the New York harbor waterfront. In 1955, he directed John Steinbeck's East of Eden, which introduced James Dean to movie audiences.
A turning point in Kazan's career came with his testimony as a witness before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1952 at the time of the Hollywood blacklist, which brought him strong negative reactions from many liberal friends and colleagues. His testimony helped end the careers of former acting colleagues Morris Carnovsky and Art Smith, along with ending the work of playwright Clifford Odets. Kazan later justified his act by saying he took "only the more tolerable of two alternatives that were either way painful and wrong." Nearly a half-century later, his anti-Communist testimony continued to cause controversy. When Kazan was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1999, dozens of actors chose not to applaud as 250 demonstrators picketed the event.
Kazan influenced the films of the 1950s and '60s with his provocative, issue-driven subjects. Director Stanley Kubrick called him, "without question, the best director we have in America, and capable of performing miracles with the actors he uses."
Kazan died in September 28, 2003 at the age of 94.
In 2010, Martin Scorsese co-directed the documentary film A Letter to Elia as a personal tribute to Kazan.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pedro Borges
Elia Kazan, known for his creative stage direction, was born "Elia Kazanjoglous" in Istanbul in 1909 to Greek parents. He directed such Broadway plays as "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". He directed the film version of A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and also films written for the screen. He was a proponent of the "method approach" to acting, developed by Konstantin Stanislavski. Kazan received two Academy Awards for Best Director -- for the films Gentleman's Agreement (1947) and On the Waterfront (1954). Kazan also wrote the scripts for films about Greek immigrants to the United States, such as America America (1963). These films were based on his novels. Kazan's autobiography, published in 1988, is "Elie Kazan: A Life".
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Matt Dicker
|Frances Rudge||(26 June 1982 - 28 September 2003) (his death)|
|Barbara Loden||(5 June 1967 - 5 September 1980) (her death) (1 child)|
|Molly Day Thatcher||(5 December 1932 - 14 December 1963) (her death) (4 children)|