ELIA KAZAN BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Elia Kazan was born on September 7th, 1909 in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire , now known as Istanbul, Turkey , with the birth name Elias Kazanjoglou, born to George and Athena Kazanjoglou. At the age of four his family immigrated to the United States. He became one of the most influential directors on Broadway as well as in Hollywood.
After high school, Kazan enrolled at Williams College in Massachusetts, and later attended Yale University and studied Drama for two years. He then decided to relocate to New York City and began to pursue a career as a stage actor. In 1932 he joined the Group Theater and was later one of the co-founders of the Actor's Studio. Along with Lee Strasberg, together the two men introduced 'Method Acting' which was later studied by numerous actors.
Throughout his career he mostly focused on directing, although he did also appear as an actor in such films as, "Café Universal" (1934), "Strangers All" (1935) starring with Preston Foster, May Robson, William Bakewell and Leon Ames, "Blues in the Night" (1941) also starring Priscilla Lane, Richard Whorf, Betty Field, Lloyd Nolan, Wallace Ford, Howard Da Silva, Billy Halop and Jack Carson and "Panic in the Streets" (1950) starring Richard Widmark, Paul Douglas, Barbara Bel Geddes, Zero Mostel, Tommy Rettig and Jack Palance.
He first gained experience as a director when he directed such stage productions as, "A Streetcar named Desire", "All My Sons" and "Death of a Salesman". He directed a total of 21 films during his career, and although that is not so many compared to other directors of his era, Kazan became so well known for directing actors that later became so well known, and 21 of the actors he worked with received Oscar nominations during their careers in the industry. He is well remembered for turning Marlon Brando into a star after he directed him in the stage and then film version of, "Streetcar Named Desire".
Some of his more well know films he directed included, "Panic in the Streets" (1950), "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951) starring Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden, "On the Waterfront" (1954) starring Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger, Martin Balsam, Pat Hingle, Fred Gwynne and Eva Marie Saint, "East of Eden" (1955) starring Julie Harris, James Dean (in his first major screen role), and Raymond Massey. It also features Burl Ives, Richard Davalos and Jo Van Fleet, "Baby Doll" (1956) starring Karl Malden, Carroll Baker, R.G. Armstrong, Madeleine Sherwood, Rip Torn, Lonny Chapman and Eli Wallach, "A Face in the Crowd" (1957) starring Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, Anthony Franciosa, Lee Remick and Walter Matthau, "Wild River" (1960) starring Montgomery Clift, Lee Remick, Jo Van Fleet, Albert Salmi, James Westerfield, Bruce Dern, Frank Overton and Jay C. Flippen, "Splendor in the Grass" (1961) starring Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Pat Hingle, Joanna Roos, Gary Lockwood, Sandy Dennis and Phyllis Diller, "The Arrangement" (1969) starring Richard Boone, Hume Cronyn, Kirk Douglas, Harold Gould, Faye Dunaway, Deborah Kerr and his final directed film, "The Last Tycoon" (1976) starring Robert De Niro, Tony Curtis, Robert Mitchum, Jack Nicholson, Donald Pleasence, Jeanne Moreau, Theresa Russell, Ray Milland, Dana Andrews, John Carradine, Tige Andrews, Ingrid Boulting, Jeff Corey, Anjelica Huston and Peter Strauss.
Over the course of his career, Kazan won two Oscars for Best Director as well as three Tony Awards and four Golden Globes. Seven of the films directed by Kazan won an Academy Award 20 times. During the Hollywood blacklist, he was called to do a "friendly witness" before the House Committee on Un-American Activities which caused some issues for him in the industry.
Kazan continued to work as a film director but also remained working as a Broadway director with such productions as, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof", "Sweet Bird of Youth", "The Dark at the Top of the Stairs" and Tea and Sympathy".
Along with making the careers of many actors such as Natalie Wood and Jimmy Dean he also collaborated with numerous writers such as Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and William Inge.
As for the young James Dean, after his initial success in "East of Eden" his next acting foray was in "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955) directed by Kazan's friend, Nicholas Ray and then "Giant" (1956) directed by another friend, George Stevens.
Elia Kazan married a total of three times, first to Molly Day Thacher, a playwright in 1932 and they had four children together and remained married until she passed away. He then married Barbara Loden, an actress in 1969 and they also stayed together until she passed away in 1980. Together they had one son as well. His third and final marriage was to Frances Rudge in 1982 and they remained married until he passed away at the age of ninety four on September 28th, 2003 from natural causes in New York City, New York.
1976 The Last Tycoon
1972 The Visitors
1969 The Arrangement
1963 America, America
1961 Splendor in the Grass
1960 Wild River
1957 A Face in the Crowd
1956 Baby Doll
1955 East of Eden
1954 On the Waterfront
1953 Man on a Tightrope
1952 Viva Zapata!
1951 A Streetcar Named Desire
1950 Panic in the Streets
1947 Gentleman's Agreement
1947 The Sea of Grass
1945 Watchtower Over Tomorrow
1945 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
1937 The People of the Cumberland