From his modest beginnings on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Ben Gazzara forged a career spanning six decades both on stage and screen. Driven by his passion for acting, he first discovered the theater in his neighborhood, at the Madison Square Boys Club. He entered the Actors Studio in 1951 which led to his creating the role of Brick in the first Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, directed by Elia Kazan in 1955. Later, he went on to act with one of his movie idols, James Stewart in Otto Preminger’s film Anatomy of a Murder. As well as his work on stage and screen, he also starred in the TV series, Run For Your Life.
Throughout his extensive career, Gazzara was always attracted to daring, innovative and original productions both in film and theater, portraying a variety of tough, smart and troubled characters using his seductive, Sicilian charm and deep captivating voice. He will notably be remembered for his work with his best friend, John Cassavetes in such films as Husbands, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie and Opening Night.