|Elia Kazan Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 8 in|
|Date of Birth||September 7, 1909|
|Date of Death||September 28, 2003|
Elia Kazan was an Academy Award-winning American director, producer, screenwriter, and actor who is revered as one of the most influential filmmakers that Hollywood has ever seen. In his illustrious career, the auteur directed classic films like Gentleman’s Agreement (1947), Pinky (1949), A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), On the Waterfront (1954), A Face in the Crowd (1957), East of Eden (1955), Splendor in the Grass (1961), Baby Doll (1956), America America (1963), etc.
Elia ‘Gadget’ Kazan, Gadg, The Actor’s Director
He was born on September 7, 1909.
He passed away from natural causes on September 28, 2003, in New York City at the age of 94 years.
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire (now Istanbul, Turkey)
Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Actor
- Father – George Kazantzoglou
- Mother – Athena Shishmanoglou
5 ft 8 in or 173 cm
66 kg or 145.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Elia Kazan had dated –
- Molly Day Thatcher (1931-1963) – On December 5, 1932, he wed the famous playwright Molly Day Thatcher. His wife gave birth to 4 children: 2 daughters named Judy Kazan and Katharine Kazan and 2 sons named Christopher Kazan and Nicholas Kazan (b. September 15, 1945). Their marriage ended on December 14, 1963, following Molly’s death from a cerebral hemorrhage.
- Constance Dowling (1946-1948)
- Marilyn Monroe (1951)
- Vivien Leigh (1951)
- Jean Peters (1951)
- Lee Remick
- Theresa Russell
- Barbara Loden (1966-1980) – The actress Barbara Loden became his second wife on June 5, 1967. They welcomed a son together named Leonard Kazan. However, Loden passed away from breast cancer and liver cancer in 1980.
- Frances Rudge (1981-2003) – The Wild River (1960) director was married to Frances Rudge from June 26, 1982, until his death on September 28, 2003.
Race / Ethnicity
He was of Cappadocian Greek descent.
However, his hair had turned ‘Gray’ by the time of his death.
Elia Kazan Facts
- He co-founded the prestigious Actors’ Studio in collaboration with Cheryl Crawford and Robert Lewis in 1947.
- According to Kazan, his first name should be pronounced as “l-EE-ah”.
- He had the privilege of directing Hollywood’s original method actors: Marlon Brando, James Dean, and Montgomery Clift. Later in life, he directed Robert De Niro, who is also famous for his method acting, in The Last Tycoon (1976).
- Director Francis Ford Coppola wanted Kazan to play the role of Hyman Roth in The Godfather Part II (1974). However, the role ended up with Lee Strasberg.
- Eight of his films have been selected by the Library of Congress to be a part of the National Film Registry for their ‘cultural, historical or aesthetical’ significance. They are as follows: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), Gentleman’s Agreement (1947), A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), On the Waterfront (1954), East of Eden (1955), A Face in the Crowd (1957), Wild River (1960), and America America (1963).
- Kazan became somewhat of a pariah in Hollywood after he cooperated with the House UnAmerican Activities Committee in 1952 to expose the so-called ‘communists’ in the film industry. His actions led to several talented artists getting blacklisted, which in turn, ruined their Hollywood careers forever. He, however, never showed any remorse and publicly admitted to having no regrets about his decision even after many decades had passed by.
- He was the recipient of an Honorary Oscar in 1999, but his selection was met with severe protests due to his involvement with the House UnAmerican Activities Committee in the 1950s. During the awards ceremony, many attendees including Nick Nolte and Ed Harris refused to stand up and applaud when he was handed the award by presenters Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese. On the other hand, celebrities who were seen applauding him included Meryl Streep, Warren Beatty, Helen Hunt, Karl Malden, Kurt Russell, Leonardo DiCaprio, etc.
- Kazan won the ‘Best Director’ Oscar twice in his lifetime, once for Gentleman’s Agreement (1947) and the second time for On the Waterfront (1954).
Featured Image by Unknown Author / Wikimedia / Public Domain