Saturday, February 4, 2012

Ben Gazzara, 1930-2012

Ben Gazzara, on the right in the military uniform in Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

You might have come across the news that veteran character actor Ben Gazzara died yesterday at the age of 81. I found it a bit more difficult to find good photos of him from his movies than I would have thought, apparently because the Google Image searching is bringing up more recent photos of him that are being used in all the online obituaries. Gazzara's breakout movie role was as the soldier accused of murdering the man who raped his wife in Otto Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder in 1959.

A movie os his for which I have a soft spot is The Young Doctors, where Gazzara plays a young pathologist arguing with veteran Fredric March over whether a patient has cancer and therefore needs a leg amputation, or not. The movie also stars a young Dick Clark, which is why I enjoy the film. Clark isn't that good, but Gazzara is. I was looking for a picture of Gazzara and March from that film, and the best I could find is somebody selling a production still on Ebay. (I don't know how long that link is going to be active.)

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