Photo of Ben Gazzara Ben Gazzara

A respected film actor also known for his formidable stage performances, Ben Gazzara was born Aug. 28, 1930, to Sicilian immigrants in New York City. Playing an accused killer in an early big-screen effort, 1959's Anatomy of a Murder, Gazzara wowed audiences and critics. But when he hit a cinematic dry patch, he turned his talents to series television, copping two Emmy nominations for his role in "Run for Your Life."

Friendships with pioneering directors John Cassavetes and Peter Bogdanovich, who cast Gazzara in movies such as Opening Night (1977) and They All Laughed (1981), helped define his career. Returning to the small screen in 1985, he earned an Emmy nod for the telefilm An Early Frost and won the award nearly two decades later for his work in the 2002 cable drama Hysterical Blindness.

Other notable films for Gazzara include The Big Lebowski (1998) and Summer of Sam (1999). He died of pancreatic cancer Feb. 3, 2012.

Ben Gazzara in The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski

1998 R

Slacker Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski gets involved in a gargantuan mess of events when he's mistaken for another man named Lebowski, whose wife has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom. All the while, the Dude's friend, Walter, stirs the pot.

  • Ben Gazzara in Dogville Dogville
  • Ben Gazzara in Anatomy of a Murder Anatomy of a Murder
  • Ben Gazzara in Road House Road House
  • Ben Gazzara in The Spanish Prisoner The Spanish Prisoner
  • Ben Gazzara in The Thomas Crown Affair The Thomas Crown Affair
  • Ben Gazzara in 13 13
  • Ben Gazzara in Paris, Je T'aime Paris, Je T'aime
  • Ben Gazzara in The Fugitive Kind The Fugitive Kind
  • Ben Gazzara in The Bridge at Remagen The Bridge at Remagen
  • Ben Gazzara in Saint Jack Saint Jack
  • Ben Gazzara in Happiness Happiness
  • Ben Gazzara in King: A Filmed Record King: A Filmed Record
  • Ben Gazzara in They All Laughed They All Laughed
  • Ben Gazzara in Wholphin: Issue 10 Wholphin: Issue 10
  • Ben Gazzara in If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium
  • Ben Gazzara in Husbands Husbands
  • Ben Gazzara in Pursuit Pursuit
  • Ben Gazzara in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
  • Ben Gazzara in Killing of a Chinese Bookie: Director Cut Killing of a Chinese Bookie: Director Cut
  • Ben Gazzara in Secret Obsession Secret Obsession
  • Ben Gazzara in Brian's Song Brian's Song
  • Ben Gazzara in The Strange One The Strange One
  • Ben Gazzara in Arrest & Trial Arrest & Trial
  • Ben Gazzara in QB VII QB VII
  • Ben Gazzara in Capone Capone
  • Ben Gazzara in Opening Night Opening Night
  • Ben Gazzara in The Girl from Trieste The Girl from Trieste
  • Ben Gazzara in An Early Frost An Early Frost
  • Ben Gazzara in Stag Stag
  • Ben Gazzara in Buffalo '66 Buffalo '66
  • Ben Gazzara in Too Tired to Die Too Tired to Die
  • Ben Gazzara in Protector Protector
  • Ben Gazzara in Jack of Hearts Jack of Hearts
  • Ben Gazzara in Hysterical Blindness Hysterical Blindness
  • Ben Gazzara in Looking for Palladin Looking for Palladin