Vale – Ben Gazzara

Ben Gazzara - 1930-2012

Emmy-winning US actor Ben Gazzara has passed away. Mr Gazzara made a name for himself initially on stage, in the Broadway production of Cat On A Hit Tin Roof, and while he went for the role of Brick in the film version, he lost out to Paul Newman. Gazzara would make a number of film and television appearances in his near-60 year career, including Husbands (with John Cassavettes), They All Laughed (for Peter Bogdanovich), Road House (alongside the white-hot Patrick Swayze), The Bridge At Ramagen (with Robert Vaughn), The Big Lebowski, The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), Capone, The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie, Dogville (for Lars von Trier) and 13 (2010).

In 1999 Mr Gazzara was diagnosed with throat cancer, and passed away on February 3rd from pancreatic cancer.



© 2012, All rights reserved.


  1. Gazzara played a variation on Charles Buchowski in Tales of Ordinary Madness circa 1981. Goodness me he was funny – there was a scene when these NY corporate publishing types had him over for breakfast. His dialogue went something like: "No thank you, I can't hold anything down at this time in the morning," when they were offering him food while he was pouring himself a glass of red. Admittedly the film became a sort of Betty Blue, but a great performance nevertheless.

    The Bridge at Remagan is also a funny film – Ben, a nazi corpse thief, plays George Siegal's sidekick. Also memorable for Bradford Dillman's performance as an uppity officer.

    Anyone with an interest in 70s cinema should, without a doubt, watch Cassevettes' Chinese Bookie. It's on DVD

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Never blessed with a body worthy of a porn star, nor being the heir to a wealthy industrialists fortune, nor suffering the tragedy of having his parents murdered outside a Gotham theater, Rodney is, contrary to popular opinion, neither Ron Jeremy, JD Rockefeller, or Batman. As a serious appreciator of film since 1996, Rodney's love affair with the medium has continued with his online blog, Fernby Films, a facility allowing him to communicate with fellow cineasts in their mutual love of all things movie.

Vale – Ben Gazzara

by Rodney Twelftree
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