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|Also Known As:||Elia Kazanjoglou||Died:||September 28, 2003|
|Born:||September 7, 1909||Cause of Death:||natural causes|
|Birth Place:||Turkey||Profession:||Director ... director producer actor screenwriter author stage manager waiter bartender|
A rare talent who scaled the heights of two artistic disciplines, Elia Kazan overcame humble roots to establish himself as both a driving force in American theater and as a highly-regarded filmmaker. Along the way, he would win three Academy Awards for directing classics like "On the Waterfront" (1954) and "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951) and be the recipient of an equal number of Tony Awards for his direction of such Broadway landmarks as "Death of a Salesman." Kazan would be further lauded as a pioneer of social justice in cinema, and his daring examinations of topics like racial and religious prejudice came during a time when such things were discouraged by movie studios. Such displays of depth, daring and humanity influenced a generation of filmmakers including Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola. Kazan's groundbreaking work with The Actor's Studio also earned him much credit for his promotion of "The Method," and he was instrumental in launching the careers of such practitioners of that craft as Marlon Brando, James Dean and Warren Beatty. However, as much as his personal convictions shaped his creative accomplishments, they would also determine how the general public came to regard him following his cooperation with the House Committee on Un-American Activities at the height of the 1950s Red Scare. The ramifications of his decision to betray the trust of former associates would haunt Kazan right up until the end, but he left behind a legacy that even his most vehement ideological opponents could not deny.
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