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John Cassavetes
John Cassavetes Johnny Staccato 1959.jpg
John Cassavetes as Johnny Staccato, (1959)
John Nicholas Cassavetes

(1929-12-09)December 9, 1929
New York City, U.S.
Died February 3, 1989(1989-02-03) (aged 59)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting place Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery
Nationality American
Education Blair Academy
Alma mater American Academy of Dramatic Arts
  • Actor
  • filmmaker
Years active 1951–1989
(m. 1954)
Parent(s) Katherine Cassavetes,
Nicholas John Cassavetes

John Nicholas Cassavetes (December 9, 1929 – February 3, 1989) was a Greek-American actor, film director, and screenwriter. Cassavetes was a pioneer of American independent film, writing and directing over a dozen movies, which he partially self-financed, and pioneered the use of improvisation and a realistic cinéma vérité (a style of documentary film-making). He also acted in many Hollywood films. His income from acting made it possible for him to direct his own films independently.

Cassavetes was nominated for three separate Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor for The Dirty Dozen (1967), Best Original Screenplay for Faces (1968) and Best Director for A Woman Under the Influence (1974).


John Cassavetes grave at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Brentwood, California
John Cassavetes's grave

Cassavetes was born in New York City, New York on December 9. 1929. He studied at Blair Academy and at Colgate University. Cassavetes spent his childhood in Long Island, New York. He was married to Gena Rowlands from 1954 until his death. They had 3 children.

Cassavetes died from cirrhosis of the liver on February 3, 1989, at the age of 59, caused by many years of alcoholism. He is buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park cemetery in Los Angeles. The New Yorker wrote that Cassavetes "may be the most influential American director of the last half century".

The Independent Spirit Awards named one of their categories after Cassavetes, the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award.

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