John Cassavetes

  • Birth Name: John Nicholas Cassavetes
  • Birth Place: New York, New York, United States
  • Died: February 3, 1989
  • Profession: Actor, Director, Screenwriter, Producer, Editor, Writer
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Fast Facts

  • Auditioned for the Actors Studio but was rejected.
  • In 1956, he taught an alternative style of method acting in his own New York City workshop.
  • His first film, 1959's Shadows, was partially bankrolled by donations he solicited from listeners to Jean Shepherd's late-night radio show.
  • His mother, Katherine Cassavetes, appeared in a number of his films, and he made 10 movies with wife, Gena Rowlands.
  • Was nominated for Oscars in three different categories: best supporting actor for The Dirty Dozen (1966), best original screenplay for Faces (1968) and best director for A Woman Under the Influence (1974).
  • Is commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp from the 2003 series celebrating American Filmmaking: Behind the Scenes.
  • Greece's Thessaloniki Film Festival has a theater named after him.


  • 1980, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Special: Nominee
  • 1975, Writers Guild Awards — Original Drama: Nominee
  • 1975, Golden Globe — Best Director - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1984, Berlin Film Festival — Golden Bear: Winner
  • 1969, Writers Guild Awards — Original Screenplay: Nominee
  • 1980, Venice Film Festival — Best Film: Winner
  • 1974, Oscar — Best Achievement in Directing: Nominee
  • 1968, Oscar — Best Writing (Story and Screenplay--written directly for the screen): Nominee
  • 1973, Writers Guild Awards — Original Comedy: Nominee
  • 1968, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1967, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1971, Golden Globe — Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1961, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Film and British Film: Nominee
  • 1961, BAFTA Film Awards — United Nations Award: Nominee
  • 1975, Golden Globe — Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: Nominee


  • Nick Cassavetes — Son
  • Alexandra Cassavetes — Daughter
  • Katherine Cassavetes — Mother
  • Nicholas John Cassavetes — Father
  • Nicholas John Cassavetes — Brother
  • Zoe Cassavetes — Daughter
  • Gena Rowlands — Wife


  • Attended Mohawk Valley Community College, Utica, New York, United States; attended Champlain College, Plattsburgh, New York, United States; American Academy of Dramatic Arts, New York, New York, United States (1950)

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