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John Cassavetes Biography

Birth Name:
John Nicholas Cassavetes
Birth Place:
New York, New York, United States
Actor, director, screenwriter, producer, editor, writer

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


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