'Big Lebowski' Actor Ben Gazzara Loses His Battle With Pancreatic Cancer

February 04, 2012 02:16:14 GMT

The veteran stage/screen actor passed away at the age of 81 at Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City on Friday, February 3, his lawyer Jay Julien confirms.


Ben Gazzara
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Photo credit: Flashpoint/WENN

Pancreatic cancer has taken the life of yet another notable actor. Ben Gazzara, who won an Emmy for his work in the 2002 HBO film "Hysterical Blindness", has succumbed to the illness on Friday, February 3. His lawyer Jay Julien told The New York Times that the 81-year-old died at Bellevue Hospital Center in Manhattan, New York City.

Born on August 28, 1930, the New York native starred in numerous Broadway productions, including Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". In the small screen world, he was remembered for playing a terminally ill man trying to get the most out of the last two years of his life on NBC's 1965-68 "Run for Your Life".

Gazzara made his big break into the big screen with his role as an accused killer in 1959's "Anatomy of a Murder", and was best known for his works with the late John Cassavetes, including "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie". He also had worked with other prominent directors, such as Peter Bogdanovich, David Mamet, Spike Lee and Lars von Trier.

Gazzara is survived by third wife, the former Elke Stuckmann, and his two daughters. Two years prior to the actor's passing, "Dirty Dancing" star Patrick Swayze also died of pancreatic cancer. The actor husband of Lisa Niemi passed away on September 14, 2009 at the age of 57.

© AceShowbiz.com




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