Actor Ben Gazzara has died aged 81

Best known for Anatomy Of A Murder, Road House and The Big Lebowski

It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of actor Ben Gazzara, a star whose screen presence will possibly mean more to a lot of people than his not-too-familiar name.

Gazzara died in a Manhattan hospital on Friday 3 February as a result of his pancreatic cancer.

He first found fame in a stage production of Tennessee Williams' Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, but he went on to notch up well over a hundred TV and film appearances.

Most notable among his movie out put was Otto Preminger's Anatomy Of A Murder (which kickstarted his big screen career in 1959), and a brief but impactful role as porn baron Jackie Treehorn in The Big Lebowski.

We'll perhaps remember him most fondly as the scourge of the Double Deuce nightclub in '80s gem Road House, which saw him face off against Patrick Swayze's philosophising bouncer.

You're also likely to have seen him in everything from Happiness, to The Thomas Crown Affair remake, to Summer Of Sam and Dogville.

His gruff, piercing intensity was frequently utilised for tough-guy roles, such as the lead in Capone.

Our thoughts go out to Gazzara's wife and daughter.

Were you a fan of Gazzara's work? Share your thoughts below…


    • minorityreport

      Feb 4th 2012, 16:31

      RIP Mr. Gazzara, you were a class act.

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    • Toursiveu

      Feb 5th 2012, 12:50

      Ben Gazzara dies and there's no mention of his work with John Cassavetes? They were friends, Ben was also friends with Cassavetes regulars Peter Falf and Gena Rowlands and Ben appeared in three of Cassavetes' best films : Husbands, The Killing of a Chinese Bookie and Opening Night. I mean, you cite Road House... but not The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, the best film on his resumé????

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