John Cazale

Actor
While he only made five pictures in his all too brief career, noted supporting actor John Cazale made the most of his brief time on screen before his life was cut short by bone cancer. Having had his start on the stage ... Read more »
Born: 08/12/1935 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Filmography

Actor (5)

The Deer Hunter 1978 (Movie)

Stan-- (Actor)

Dog Day Afternoon 1975 (Movie)

Sal (Actor)

The Godfather, Part II 1974 (Movie)

Fredo Corleone (Actor)

The Conversation 1973 (Movie)

Stanley (Actor)

Biography

While he only made five pictures in his all too brief career, noted supporting actor John Cazale made the most of his brief time on screen before his life was cut short by bone cancer. Having had his start on the stage with notable performances in off-Broadway productions, Cazale was cast by director Francis Ford Coppola to play the weak and ineffectual Fredo Corleone in "The Godfather" (1972). His part was small and less fiery than those of co-stars Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, James Caan and Robert Duvall, but Cazale gave everything he had and made his moments count. Coppola cast him again as Gene Hackman's sound assistant in the paranoid thriller "The Conversation" (1974) and expanded Fredo's role significantly for "The Godfather, Par II" (1974). Cazale shined as the traitorous Fredo in the second installment, but really came into his own opposite Pacino in Sidney Lumet's "Dog Day Afternoon" (1975), which marked the best collaboration between the two acting partners. After returning to the stage and falling deeply in love with a then-unknown Meryl Streep, Cazale received a terminal prognosis of bone cancer, which almost jeopardized him being cast in Michael Cimino's "The Deer Hunter" (1978). Cazale's scenes were filmed quickly and died before the film was released, leaving behind a brief legacy that included only five films, but all of which were nominated for Best Picture.

Relationships

Catherine Benjamin

Sister
survived him

Cecilia Cazale

Mother
survived him

Stephen Cazale

Brother
survived him

Meryl Streep Actor

Companion
Met when they acted together in NYC production of "Measure for Measure" in 1976 Lived together until his death from bone cancer in March 1978

EDUCATION

Oberlin College

Oberlin , Ohio

School of Fine Arts, Boston University

Boston , Massachusetts

Milestones

1978

Final film, "The Deerhunter", co-starring Streep

1976

Co-starred opposite Meryl Streep in New York Shakespeare Festival production of "Measure for Measure"

1975

Co-starred with Pacino in Sidney Lumet's "Dog Day Afternoon"

1975

Appeared in support of Pacino in "The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui" at the Charles Playhouse in Boston, MA

1974

Reprised role of Fredo Corleone in "The Godfather, Part II"; earned Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination

1974

Reteamed with Coppola as Gene Hackman's assistant in "The Conversation"

1972

Feature film debut as Fredo Corleone, the middle son, in "The Godfather", directed by Francis Ford Coppola and co-starring Pacino

1968

Appeared onstage with Pacino in "The Local Stigmatic"

1968

First made mark Off-Broadway in "Line" "The Indian Want The Bronx", by Israel Horowitz; first collaboration with Al Pacino

An Off-Broadway theatre was posthumously named for him and the late actor Walter McGinn

Began career in regional theater and Off-Broadway productions

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