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5 items from 2012

Ben Gazzara obituary

5 February 2012 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Forceful actor who built a 60-year career in the Us and Europe

Few screen debuts have equalled the searing malevolence of Ben Gazzara's Iago-inspired Jocko De Paris in The Strange One (1957). The role, which he had created on stage, became forever associated with this intense graduate of New York's method school of acting.

Gazzara, who has died aged 81 of pancreatic cancer, continued his stage career in modern classics including Epitaph for George Dillon and as the humiliated and vengeful George in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? He also achieved popular acclaim through television series – notably Run for Your Life (1965-68) – and in movies for his friend John Cassavetes and other directors including Otto Preminger, Peter Bogdanovich, David Mamet, Todd Solondz and the Coen brothers.

Gazzara was born to Sicilian immigrants and grew up on Manhattan's lower east side. He began acting at the Madison Square Boys Club and »

- Brian Baxter

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Actor Ben Gazzara Dead at 81

5 February 2012 8:23 AM, PST | | See recent news »

A very serious and respected actor leaves behind a stellar body of work. Ben Gazzara worked with John Cassavetes five times and appeared in Road House and The Big Lebowski. I especially liked his take on Al Capone in the Corman-produced Capone in 1975 and his murderous stripclub owner Cosmo Vitelli in Cassavetes’s edgy thriller The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie in 1976. He had pancreatic cancer.

From The New York Times:

Ben Gazzara, an intense actor whose long career included playing Brick in the original Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway, roles in influential films by John Cassavetes and work with several generations of top Hollywood directors, died on Friday in Manhattan. He was 81. The cause was pancreatic cancer, his lawyer, Jay Julien, said. Mr. Gazzara lived in Manhattan.

Mr. Gazzara studied with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in Manhattan, where the careers of stars like Marlon Brando »

- Tom Stockman

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Ben Gazzara: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Strange One, They All Laughed

3 February 2012 6:40 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Audrey Hepburn, Ben Gazzara, They All Laughed Ben Gazzara Dead Pt.1: Anatomy Of A Murder, Husbands, An Early Frost Long before An Early Frost, Ben Gazzara had already appeared in two (however veiled) gay-themed productions. On Broadway, he was the virile ex-football player pining for his "best friend" while ignoring wife Barbara Bel Geddes in the 1955 original staging of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. (Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor played those two roles in the bowdlerized 1958 movie version directed by Richard Brooks.) And in 1957, Gazzara made his film debut as a sexually troubled military man who gets off by viciously abusing (or watching others viciously abuse) his fellow cadets in Jack Garfein's The Strange One. Among Gazzara's other 75 or so feature films — many of which were made in Italy — are Steve Carver's Capone (1975), in the title role; Stuart Rosenberg's Voyage of the Damned »

- Andre Soares

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Hollywood’s Al Capone

9 January 2012 6:42 PM, PST | | See recent news »

The St. Louis Globe-Democrat is a monthly newspaper run by Steve DeBellis, a well know St. Louis historian, and it.s the largest one-man newspaper in the world. The concept of The Globe is that there is an old historic headline, then all the articles in that issue are written as though it.s the year that the headline is from. It.s an unusual concept but the paper is now in its 25th successful year! Steve and I collaborated last Spring on an all-Vincent Price issue of The Globe and been writing a regular monthly movie-related column since. Since there is no on-line version of The Globe, I post all of my articles here at We Are Movie Geeks. This month’s edition of The Globe takes place in 1947. The headline on the cover will scream “Al Capone Dead!”  and there will be several articles about the famous gangster. »

- Tom Stockman

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Hardy Targets Capone In "Cicero"

8 January 2012 12:28 PM, PST | SneakPeek | See recent SneakPeek news »

According to actor Tom Hardy ("The Dark Knight Rises"), he will play ruthless 1920's gangster 'Al Capone' in the feature "Cicero", to be directed by David Yates, following his role in director George Miller's "Mad Max: Fury Road".

Hardy said he has been working with Warner Bros, "watching their gangster films — the ones with James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and Edward G.’s interesting to get them, and a bit of Capone, into the bloodstream… The idea isn’t to remake those films but to get a flavour of them as we explore Capone’s career as a racketeer."

The "Cicero" screenplay is by Walon Green, noted for writing director 'Bloody Sam' Peckinpah's classic western "The Wild Bunch".

Actors previously playing Capone in film include Rod Steiger, "Al Capone" (1959), Neville Brand, "The George Raft Story (1961), Jason Robards, "The St. Valentine's Day Massacre" (1967), Buddy Lester, "Poor Devil" (1973), Ben Gazzara, »

- Michael Stevens

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