skip navigation
Seymour Cassel

Seymour Cassel

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Dead In The Water DVD A cheating husband tries to get away with murder but ends up biting off more... more info $6.95was $6.95 Buy Now

Trees Lounge DVD Acclaimed character actor Steve Buscemi wrote, directs, and stars in this quirky... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Faces: The Criterion Collection... John Cassavetes examines a couple's struggle with infidelity in this somber... more info $39.95was $39.95 Buy Now

The Killing Of A Chinese Bookie: The... John Cassavetes directs the gripping crime drama "The Killing of a Chinese... more info $39.95was $39.95 Buy Now

Beer League DVD The 2-disc set "Beer League" (2006) revolves around a rowdy softball team and... more info $6.99was $6.99 Buy Now

Emma's Wish DVD You'll believe in second chances after this CBS made-for-television drama.... more info $6.99was $6.99 Buy Now



Also Known As: Died:
Born: January 22, 1935 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Detroit, Michigan, USA Profession: actor, director, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A blond, often mustachioed, and scruffy character player best known as an integral member of John Cassavetes' informal clan of actors, Seymour Cassel received an early introduction to show business, traveling with a troupe of touring burlesque performers that included his mother. After living for several years in Panama, where his family owned a nightclub, he moved to NYC to pursue an acting career, studying with the American Theatre Wing and with Lee Strasberg's famed Actors Studio. Cassel met Cassavetes at the future director's 46th Street acting workshop in 1957, eventually teaching alongside him and serving as associate producer on Cassavetes' directorial debut, "Shadows" (1960). A versatile, engaging talent, Cassel made the first of seven appearances for Cassavetes in "Too Late Blues" (1961) and also acted three times under director Don Siegel. He first achieved prominence as an aging hippie street hustler who saves a middle-aged housewife (Lynn Carlin) from suicide in Cassavetes' "Faces" (1968), earning an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor. His largest role for Cassavetes came as yet another hippie opposite the director's wife Gena Rowlands in "Minnie and Moskowitz" (1971), a...

A blond, often mustachioed, and scruffy character player best known as an integral member of John Cassavetes' informal clan of actors, Seymour Cassel received an early introduction to show business, traveling with a troupe of touring burlesque performers that included his mother. After living for several years in Panama, where his family owned a nightclub, he moved to NYC to pursue an acting career, studying with the American Theatre Wing and with Lee Strasberg's famed Actors Studio. Cassel met Cassavetes at the future director's 46th Street acting workshop in 1957, eventually teaching alongside him and serving as associate producer on Cassavetes' directorial debut, "Shadows" (1960). A versatile, engaging talent, Cassel made the first of seven appearances for Cassavetes in "Too Late Blues" (1961) and also acted three times under director Don Siegel. He first achieved prominence as an aging hippie street hustler who saves a middle-aged housewife (Lynn Carlin) from suicide in Cassavetes' "Faces" (1968), earning an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor. His largest role for Cassavetes came as yet another hippie opposite the director's wife Gena Rowlands in "Minnie and Moskowitz" (1971), a kitchen sink romantic comedy with roles galore for Cassel and Cassavetes family members.

Cassel went on to fashion a prolific career, splitting his time between big Hollywood pictures and independent features in the spirit of Cassavetes. He delivered a colorful supporting turn as Cheese, one of the "Tin Men" (1987), appeared as Sam Catchem in "Dick Tracy" (1990) and paid tribute to Gabby Hayes as Skunker, Klaus Maria Brandauer's prospecting pal in "White Fang" (1991), a film which introduced him to executive producer Andrew Bergman. After stealing the show from Steve Buscemi as the over-the-top, fast-talking hood of Alexandre Rockwell's indie "In the Soup" (1992), he teamed with director Bergman for first "Honeymoon in Las Vegas" (also 1992) and later "It Could Happen to You" (1994), both starring Nicolas Cage. Other memorable 90s films include Adrian Lyne's "Indecent Proposal" (1993, as Robert Redford's chauffeur), Buscemi's directing debut "Trees Lounge" (1996, playing Uncle Al) and Wes Anderson's "Rushmore" (1998, as Jason Schwartzman's barber father.)

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Fort McCoy (2014)
2.
 Kingdom Come (2012)
3.
 Booster (2012)
4.
5.
 Life Happens (2011)
6.
 Freerunner (2011)
7.
 Staten Island (2009)
8.
 Labor Pains (2009)
9.
 Big Heart City (2008)
10.
 Reach for Me (2008)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
As child, traveled with mother in a burlesque troupe
:
Lived for several years in Panama where his family owned a nightclub
:
After high school, appeared in summer stock productions in Michigan
1958:
Broadway debut, "The World of Suzy Wong"
1960:
Film debut in "Murder, Inc."
1960:
Served as associate producer on John Cassavetes directorial debut, "Shadows"
1961:
First apppearance in a Cassavetes film, "Too Late Blues"
1964:
TV-movie debut in Don Siegel's "The Hanged Man" (NBC)
1964:
Appeared with Cassavetes in Siegel's "The Killers"; also featured Ronald Reagan in his last screen role
1968:
Reteamed with Siegel for "Coogan's Bluff"
1968:
Received Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his aging hippie who saves Lynn Carlin's character from suicide in Cassavetes' "Faces"
1971:
Reunited with Cassavetes, opposite the director's wife Gena Rowlands in the kitchen-sink comedy "Minnie and Moskowitz"; played yet another aging hippie
:
Acted in Cassavetes' "Killing of a Chinese Bookie" (1976) and "Opening Night" (1977)
1978:
Played Governor Haskins in Sam Peckinpah's "Convoy"
1979:
Delivered a nice turn as one of the leads of "California Dreaming"
1982:
Jailed for conspiracy to sell cocaine
1984:
Last film with Cassavetes, "Love Streams"
1987:
Offered a colorful supporting turn as Cheese, one the titular "Tin Men", directed by Barry Levinson
1987:
Appeared in Nicholas Roeg's "Track 27"
1989:
Reteamed with Roeg for NBC movie, "Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth"
1990:
Acted in Warren Beatty's "Dick Tracy"
1991:
Portrayed Gabby Haysesque prospecting pal of Klaus Maria Brandauer in "White Fang", a remake of the Jack London novel (executive produced by Andrew Bergman)
1992:
Acclaimed for his scenery-chewing performance as a fast-talking hood opposite Steve Buscemi's aspiring filmmaker in Alexandre Rockwell's "In the Soup"
1992:
Third collaboration with Roeg, "Cold Heaven"
1992:
First association with Andrew Bergman as director, "Honeymoon in Vegas", starring Nicolas Cage
1993:
Played Robert Redford's chauffeur in Adrian Lyne's "Indecent Proposal"
1994:
Reteamed with Bergman and Cage for "It Could Happen to You", portraying Jack Gross, a sly old slickster ready to help Cage and wife Rosie Perez plot their investment strategy
1994:
TV series debut as a regular, "Under Suspicion" (CBS)
1996:
Appeared as Uncle Al in Buscemi's "Trees Lounge"
1996:
Was regular on the short-lived CBS series "The Cube"
1997:
Acted in CBS miniseries "Mario Puzo's The Last Don"
1998:
Portrayed Jason Schwartzman's barber father in Wes Anderson's "Rushmore"
2001:
Starred in Wes Anderson's "The Royal Tenenbaums"
2002:
Played Uncle Jack in the comedy "Stealing Harvard"
2003:
Starred with John Corbett in the FX drama "Lucky" a dark comedy dealing with the lives and addictions of compulsive gamblers in Las Vegas
2003:
Cast in the Farrelly Brothers' comedy "Stuck on You"
2006:
Co-starred in Steve Buscemi's "Lonesome Jim"
2007:
Co-starred with brothers Luke and Owen Wilson in "The Wendell Baker Story," a film co-directed by Luke and Andrew Wilson
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

American Theatre Wing: New York , New York -
Actors Studio: New York , New York -

Notes

Cassel's feature credits during the 90s number well over 30.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Elizabeth Deering. Actor. Married c 1964; separated c 1983; acted in four films directed by John Cassavetes; mother of Cassel's two children who appeared in "Minnie and Moskowitz".

Family close complete family listing

mother-in-law:
Elsie Ames. Actor. Appeared in "Minnie and Moscowitz" (1971) and "A Woman Under the Influence" (1974).

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute