John Cassavetes Overview:

Legendary actor, John Cassavetes, was born John Nicholas Cassavetes on Dec 9, 1929 in New York City, NY. Cassavetes died at the age of 59 on Feb 3, 1989 in Los Angeles, CA and was laid to rest in Westwood Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, CA.


Spare, dark, lean-and-hungry-looking American actor who largely escaped the gangster roles for which his Italianate features seemed to destine him. Also a director of critical acclaim, although his films' public appeal remained limited. His biggest popular success was a TV series, Johnny Staccato. He married actress Gena Rowlands, subsequent star of many of his films. Oscar-nominated for The Dirty Dozen, he died at 59 from complications arising from cirrhosis of the liver.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Film Stars).



Although Cassavetes was nominated for three Oscars, he never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1967Best Supporting ActorThe Dirty Dozen (1967)Victor FrankoNominated
1968Best WritingFaces (1968)N/ANominated
1974Best DirectorA Woman under the Influence (1974)N/ANominated

Cassavetes was immortalized on a US postal stamp in 2003.

BlogHub Articles:

A Child Is Waiting (1963, )

By Andrew Wickliffe on Jun 6, 2018 From The Stop Button

A Child Is Waiting had all kinds of production clashes between producer Stanley Kramer and director Cassavetes. And, apparently, between stars Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland and director Cassavetes. Kramer even fired Cassavetes during editing; none of those problems come through in the finished pro... Read full article

Gena Rowlands and : Each Other’s Muse…

By Christy Putnam on Jan 23, 2016 From Christy Putnam

As I was unsure of what “symbiotic” meant in the context of actors and directors, I began to travel to the land of the “lexicons,” a green, fertile place found only in the imagination. Sometimes there’s a pot of gold, and sometimes there is a cold, hard fact that canno... Read full article

Video of the Week: Los Angeles, The City in Cinema: The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (, 1978)

By Marisa on Aug 26, 2015 From The Timothy Carey Experience

Our video this week is a thoughtful analysis by essayist Colin Marshall of ‘ The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1978 director’s cut) as it relates to the city of Los Angeles itself. Timothy is briefly glimpsed in the restaurant scene in which Mort (Seymour Cassel) delivers t... Read full article


By Marisa on Dec 9, 2014 From The Timothy Carey Experience

“You can defeat fear through humor, through pain, through honesty, bravery, intuition, and through love in the truest sense.” – , born this date in 1929. A great friend and mentor to Timothy. Would that the both of them were still with us, but their spirits live on. ... Read full article

Criterion: Shadows,

By Aaron West on Aug 2, 2014 From Criterion Blues

Aug 2 Posted by aaronwest SHADOWS, , 1959 As I watched ? first film, I was struck immediately by how different it was from the films of the era, and how much in common it had with the French New Wave films that were just about to burst onto the scene. I have no idea wh... Read full article

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John Cassavetes Quotes:

Rosemary Woodhouse: I look awful.
Guy Woodhouse: What are you talking about? You look great. It's that haircut that looks awful.

Major John Reisman: [briefing the dozen] Shoot any officers you see in there.
Victor R. Franko: Who? Ours or theirs?

Elise Dunstan: Why, congratulations, papa!
Guy Woodhouse: Thanks! There was nothing to it.

read more quotes from John Cassavetes...

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Best Supporting Actor Oscar 1967

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John Cassavetes Facts
He and his good friend Ben Gazzara made 5 movies together: Husbands (1970), Capone (1975), If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium (1969), Opening Night (1977) and The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)

While some of his Hollywood films (such as Too Late Blues (1961)) lost money, his own movies were often hugely successful. Shadows (1959), filmed with non-professional actors on the streets of New York with a hand-held camera on 16mm black & white film, cost a mere $40,000 and recouped its cost many times over, winning the 1960 Critics Award at the Venice Film Festival. Another of his films, Faces (1968/I), cost $1 million and made ten times as much in profits, as well as taking out another five prizes in Venice in 1970.

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