Seymour Cassel in 2007
Seymour Joseph Cassel
January 22, 1935
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
|Died||April 7, 2019 84) (aged|
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Deering (1964–1983; divorced)|
Seymour Joseph Cassel (January 22, 1935 – April 7, 2019) was an American actor.
An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.
Cassel first came to prominence in the 1960s in the pioneering independent films of writer/director John Cassavetes. The first of these was Too Late Blues (1961), followed by Faces (1968), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award and won a National Society of Film Critics Award. Cassel went on to appear in Cassavetes' Minnie and Moskowitz (1971), The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976), Opening Night (1977), and Love Streams (1984).
John Nicholas Cassavetes 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 cinéma vérité style. He also acted in many Hollywood films, notably Rosemary's Baby (1968) and The Dirty Dozen (1967). He studied acting with Don Richardson, utilizing an alternative technique to method acting which privileged character over traditional narrative. His income from acting made it possible for him to direct his own films independently.
Too Late Blues is a 1961 black-and-white American film directed by John Cassavetes and starring Bobby Darin, Stella Stevens and Everett Chambers. It is the story of jazz musician "Ghost" Wakefield and his relationship with both his fellow band members and his love interest, Jess, a beautiful would-be singer. The film was written by Cassavetes and Richard Carr.
Faces is a 1968 drama film, written and directed by John Cassavetes, and starring John Marley, Cassavetes' wife Gena Rowlands, Fred Draper, Seymour Cassel, and Lynn Carlin. In 2011, it was added to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress.
He also appeared in a number of independent and Hollywood film productions. Notable films he was featured in include Coogan's Bluff (1968), The Last Tycoon (1976), Valentino (1977), Convoy (1978), Johnny Be Good (1988), Mobsters (1991), In the Soup (1992), Honeymoon in Vegas (1992), Indecent Proposal (1993), Beer League (2006), and Fort McCoy (2011). Like Cassavetes, Wes Anderson frequently cast Cassel - first in Rushmore (1998), and then in The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) and finally in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004).
Coogan's Bluff is a 1968 American action thriller film directed by Don Siegel, and starring Clint Eastwood, Lee J. Cobb, Don Stroud and Susan Clark. The film marks the first of five collaborations between Siegel and Eastwood, which continued with Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970), The Beguiled and Dirty Harry, and finally Escape from Alcatraz (1979).
The Last Tycoon is a 1976 American drama film directed by Elia Kazan and produced by Sam Spiegel, based upon Harold Pinter's screenplay adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon. It stars Robert De Niro, Tony Curtis, Robert Mitchum, Jack Nicholson, Donald Pleasence, Jeanne Moreau, Theresa Russell and Ingrid Boulting.
Valentino is a 1977 American biographical film directed by Ken Russell and starring Rudolf Nureyev as Rudolph Valentino. The film is very loosely based on the life of Valentino as recounted in the book Valentino, an Intimate Exposé of the Sheik, written by Chaw Mank and Brad Steiger. The film also stars Michelle Phillips, Leslie Caron, and Carol Kane.
Cassel was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Pancretia Ann (née Kearney), a performer, and Seymour Joseph Cassel, a nightclub owner.Cassel's early career was tied to fellow actor John Cassavetes, who was informally part of his clan of actors. He made his movie debut in Cassavetes' first film, Shadows, on which he also served as associate producer. In 1961 he co-starred with Cassavetes in Too Late Blues, and 1962's The Webster Boy. He also appeared in The Lloyd Bridges Show in the episode "A Pair of Boots," directed by his friend Cassavetes. Cassel appeared on such popular programs as Twelve O'Clock High, Combat!, and The F.B.I.. He also appeared as "Cancelled," one of Colonel Gumm's henchmen in the 1960s Batman TV episode "A Piece of the Action," which also featured guest stars Van Williams and Bruce Lee as The Green Hornet and Kato, respectively.
Detroit is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Michigan, the largest United States city on the United States–Canada border, and the seat of Wayne County. The municipality of Detroit had a 2017 estimated population of 673,104, making it the 23rd-most populous city in the United States. The metropolitan area, known as Metro Detroit, is home to 4.3 million people, making it the second-largest in the Midwest after the Chicago metropolitan area. Regarded as a major cultural center, Detroit is known for its contributions to music and as a repository for art, architecture and design.
Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, Michigan, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, and is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's most populous and largest metropolitan economies.
Shadows is a 1958 American independent drama film directed by John Cassavetes about race relations during the Beat Generation years in New York City. The film stars Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni and Hugh Hurd as three African-American siblings, though only one of them is dark-skinned. The film was initially shot in 1957 and shown in 1958, but a poor reception prompted Cassavetes to rework it in 1959. Promoted as a completely improvisational film, it was intensively rehearsed in 1957, and in 1959 it was fully scripted.
In 1968, Cassel was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Chet in John Cassavetes's Faces . Other collaborations with Cassavetes included a starring role with Gena Rowlands in Minnie and Moskowitz , supporting roles in The Killing of a Chinese Bookie and Love Streams , and a cameo appearance in Opening Night . Having appeared in major Hollywood productions such as Dick Tracy , Tin Men , and Indecent Proposal , Cassel was also very supportive of the American independent film community, especially in the wake of Cassavetes's death. Cassel had a small role in Steve Buscemi's directorial debut Trees Lounge and appeared in three films by Wes Anderson: Rushmore , The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic . Cassel appeared for four seasons in comedian Tracey Ullman's television series Tracey Takes On... .
The Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor is an award presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). It is given in honor of an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance in a supporting role while working within the film industry. The award was traditionally presented by the previous year's Best Supporting Actress winner.
Virginia Cathryn "Gena" Rowlands is an American actress, whose career in film, stage, and television has spanned over six decades. A four-time Emmy and two-time Golden Globe winner, she is known for her collaborations with her late actor-director husband John Cassavetes in ten films, including A Woman Under the Influence (1974) and Gloria (1980), which earned her nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress. She also won the Silver Bear for Best Actress for Opening Night (1977). In November 2015, Rowlands received an Honorary Academy Award in recognition of her unique screen performances.
Minnie and Moskowitz is a 1971 film by John Cassavetes, starring his wife, Gena Rowlands, and actor Seymour Cassel in the title roles of Minnie and Moskowitz, respectively.
Cassel married Elizabeth Deering in 1964; they had two children before divorcing in 1983.
Guitarist Slash (real name Saul Hudson), who was childhood friends with Cassel's son, credited Cassel with giving him his nickname, because he was always zipping from one place to another and never sitting still.
Saul Hudson, better known by his stage name Slash, is a British–American musician and songwriter. He is the lead guitarist of the American hard rock band Guns N' Roses, with whom he achieved worldwide success in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Slash has received critical acclaim and is considered one of the greatest guitarists in rock history.
Cassel died on April 7, 2019, aged 84, of Alzheimer's disease.
In September 2007, Cassel was a candidate for national president of the Screen Actors Guild, along with Charley M. De La Peña, Alan Rosenberg (incumbent), and Barry Simmonds.
In 2009, Cassel was once again a candidate for national president of the Screen Actors Guild along with Anne Marie Johnson and Ken Howard. Howard was the eventual winner.
In 2012, the Oldenburg Film Festival in Germany introduced an actors' prize named the Seymour Cassel Award.
He won the National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Faces .
Star Trek: The Next Gerneration as Lt Cdr Hester Dealt.
Biagio Anthony Gazzarra, known as Ben Gazzara, was an American film, stage, and television actor and director. His best known films include Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Voyage of the Damned (1976), Inchon (1981), Road House (1989), The Big Lebowski (1998), Buffalo '66 (1998), Happiness (1998), The Thomas Crown Affair (1999), Summer of Sam (1999), Dogville (2003) and Paris, je t'aime (2006). He was a recurring collaborator with John Cassavetes, working with him on Husbands (1970), The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) and Opening Night (1977).
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Bill Capizzi, also known as Bill Capeze, Bill Kapezi, and A. Gregory, was an American voice actor. Born and raised in Somerville, Massachusetts, and also raised in North Hollywood, California Capizzi appeared in mostly bit roles in his live-action film and TV show appearances. Also a gifted voice actor, he appeared in numerous animated projects, such as Digimon Adventure, Robotech, and G-Force.
An erotic thriller is a film subgenre defined as a thriller with a thematic basis in illicit romance or erotic fantasy. Most erotic thrillers contain scenes of softcore sex and nudity, but the frequency and explicitness of those scenes varies.
Sebouh Der Abrahamian, known professionally as Val Avery, was an American character actor who appeared in hundreds of movies and television shows. In a career that spanned 50 years, Avery appeared in over 100 films and had appearances in over 300 television episodes.
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Zoe Rowlands Cassavetes is an American film director, screenwriter, and actress. She is the daughter of filmmaker John Cassavetes and actress Gena Rowlands. She is best known for her 2007 film Broken English.
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Lady Rowlands was an American film actress. Most of her work came in the films of John Cassavetes, who was married to her daughter, the Academy Award-nominated and four-time Emmy Award-winning actress Gena Rowlands.