Elia Kazan

Elia Kazan Related Information:

Elia Kazan was born Elia Kazanjoglous on September 9th 1909 in Istanbul Turkey. His was the son of Greek parents who came to America when he was a small child, Kazan fell in love with the theater as a young man, acting in New York's avant-garde Group Theatre troupe. He eventually went on to directing such Broadway plays as "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof".

Though Elia had directed many movies he considered his first "real" film to be Panic in the Streets, 1950, a thriller about efforts to contain an escalating epidemic, which was shot entirely on the streets of New Orleans.

Elia Kazan was married to actresses Molly Day Thatcher and Barbara Loden. His autobiography, "A Life," was published in 1988. His son, Nicholas Kazan, is a screenwriter who was Oscar-nominated for Reversal of Fortune 1990 and made his directing debut with Dream Lover 1994.

Elia turned informer during the Communist hunt of the early 1950s. On January 14, 1952 at which he refused to "name names," Elia Kazan appeared before the House Committee on Un-American Activities on April 10 and identified eight people who had been members of the Communist Party with him in the mid-1930s, along with certain party functionaries. His testimony damaged the careers and lives of a number of individuals and helped consolidate the Hollywood blacklist. Many of his former friends never forgave his betrayal.

Elia Kazan died in Manhattan New York on September 28th 2003 of natural causes.


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