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Nicholas Kazan

Nicholas Kazan

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Also Known As: Nick Kazan Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: screenwriter, director, playwright, producer, journalist

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

This second-generation screenwriter has made a reputation for strong psychological dramas. Nicholas Kazan, the son of famed screenwriter-producer-director-actor Elia Kazan, has a talent for scripts described as "edgy, terse, bleakly funny". Until the late 1980s, he concentrated on theater, writing for The Impact Company of the Improvisational Theatre Project and having several plays produced in New York.After one not-terribly-successful attempt at screenwriting (the obscure 1977 "Showboat 1988"), Kazan had a modest success with the 1982 biopic "Frances", co-written with Eric Bergren and Christopher DeVore and featuring a tour-de-force performance by Jessica Lange. He next penned "At Close Range" (1986), a fact-based thriller about a family of killers starring Sean Penn and Christopher Walken. "Patty Hearst" (1988), the story of the kidnapped heiress, provided a showcase for actress Natasha Richardson, while "Reversal of Fortune" (1990), the darkly funny tale of Claus von Bulow who stood accused of attempting to murder his socialite wife, earned Kazan an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay and the Best Actor Oscar for Jeremy Irons. Each of these films share a biographical dimension, with a...

This second-generation screenwriter has made a reputation for strong psychological dramas. Nicholas Kazan, the son of famed screenwriter-producer-director-actor Elia Kazan, has a talent for scripts described as "edgy, terse, bleakly funny". Until the late 1980s, he concentrated on theater, writing for The Impact Company of the Improvisational Theatre Project and having several plays produced in New York.

After one not-terribly-successful attempt at screenwriting (the obscure 1977 "Showboat 1988"), Kazan had a modest success with the 1982 biopic "Frances", co-written with Eric Bergren and Christopher DeVore and featuring a tour-de-force performance by Jessica Lange. He next penned "At Close Range" (1986), a fact-based thriller about a family of killers starring Sean Penn and Christopher Walken. "Patty Hearst" (1988), the story of the kidnapped heiress, provided a showcase for actress Natasha Richardson, while "Reversal of Fortune" (1990), the darkly funny tale of Claus von Bulow who stood accused of attempting to murder his socialite wife, earned Kazan an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay and the Best Actor Oscar for Jeremy Irons. Each of these films share a biographical dimension, with a compellingly erratic and disturbing historical figure at the center.

Kazan went on to write "Mobsters" (1991), a more modest youth-oriented gangster film before making his directorial debut with the unsuccessful "Dream Lover" (1994), a meandering film noir involving femme fatale Madchen Amick's attempt to destroy her husband James Spader. Working with his wife Robin Swicord, Kazan returned to straight screenwriting, with "Matilda" (1996), a childhood drama starring Mara Wilson, producer/director Danny De Vito and his wife Rhea Perlman. Kazan also scripted the marijuana-farming drama "Homegrown" and the crime thriller "Fallen" (both 1997). Kazan also adapted the political thriller "Point of Impact" as "Shooter" (lensing 1997), starring Robert Redford.

Kazan's only TV outing to date has been the 1989 HBO series "The Edge", for which he directed one episode ("Professional Man").

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Dream Lover (1993) Director
2.
  Edge, The (1989) Director ("Professional Man")

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

:
Wrote first play in college, "Ballgame"
1977:
Screenwriting debut as one of four writers on "Showboat 1988"
1988:
Feature debut as co-producer, "Reversal of Fortune" (also scipted)
1989:
TV directorial debut, "The Edge"
1994:
Feature directorial debut, "Dream Lover"
1996:
With wife Robin Swicord, adapted Roald Dahl's novel "Matilda"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Swarthmore College: Swarthmore , Pennsylvania - 1964 - 1968

Notes

"Some people think of me in terms of my father. A lot of people aren't aware of him. I never mention him. I'm me. If you want to deal with him, deal with him. After struggling as a writer in Berkeley for many years, sending out scripts where nothing would happen, I decided I was foolish not to use my family contacts. My father set up meetings ... Nothing came of them. I heaved a big sigh. I didn't want to be looking over my shoulder, trying to decide, if I got any success, whether I deserved it. Now I know that whatever's come to me, I've worked very hard and done it completely myself." --From a 1991 interview in Movieline.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Robin Swicord. Screenwriter.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Elia Kazan. Director, screenwriter, producer and actor. Born Constantinople, Turkey, September 7, 1909.
mother:
Molly Day Thatcher. Along with Elia Kazan, was one of the filmmakers behind the semi-experimental political film short, "Pie in the Sky" (1935); died 1963.
sister:
Judy Morris.
brother:
Chris Kazan. Screenwriter, novelist. Born c. 1939.
sister:
Katherine Athena Kazan.
half-brother:
Leo Kazan.
daughter:
Zoe Kazan. Mother, Robin Swicord.
daughter:
Maya Kazan. Mother, Robin Swicord.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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