Elia Kazan

September 7, 1909
Sun Sign
Zodiac Sign
Born Place
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire (now Istanbul, Turkey)
Birth Name
Elias Kazantzoglou
Date of Death
September 28, 2003
Place of Death
New York City
Elia ‘Gadget’ Kazan, Gadg, The Actor’s Director
5 ft 8 in or 172.5 cm
66 kg or 145.5 lbs
United States
Ottoman Empire
Eye Color
Hair Color
Dark Brown
Race / Ethnicity
He was of Cappadocian Greek descent.
Sexual Orientation
Barbara Loden
Nicholas Kazan

[Elia Kazan] Biography

Elia Kazan was an American film and theatre director, producer, screenwriter and actor known for his "issue" films exploring personal and social issues of the time. He co-founded the Actors Studio and introduced "Method Acting" under the direction of Lee Strasberg, as well as influencing later films of the 1950s and 1960s. In 1952 he testified before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, which caused controversy throughout his career. He was highly praised by Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, Ian Freer and many others for his work and for his influence on acting and directing.

[Elia Kazan] Early life

Elia Kazan was deeply influenced by his upbringing in a Greek Orthodox home and used his experiences to create art in many forms throughout his life. He was a writer, an actor, a director, and a producer who was able to capture the complex nuances of the human experience in often controversial ways. He was a pioneering genius who used his vision to create powerful films, pushing the boundaries of storytelling and film making throughout his career.

[Elia Kazan] Personal life and death

Elia Kazan was married three times in his life. His first marriage was to playwright Molly Day Thacher, which lasted until her death in 1963. Together they raised two daughters and two sons, including screenwriter Nicholas Kazan. His second marriage, to the actress Barbara Loden, produced one son before her death in 1980. His third marriage, to Frances Rudge, lasted until his death in 2003.

Kazan used the 1885 farmhouse in Sandy Hook, Connecticut as a summer and weekend retreat for himself and his family, until 1998 when the property was put up for sale. In 1978, the U.S. government paid for Kazan and his family to travel to his birthplace where many of his films were to be shown. During his speech, he discussed his films and his personal and business life in the U.S., along with his opinions of the role of the U.S. as a world model. He believed that free individuals should be encouraged, and that the struggle of freedom should be the primary focus. In 2003, at the age of 94, Kazan passed away from natural causes in his Manhattan apartment.

[Elia Kazan] Notable Works

Works Year Awards IMDB rating
Blues in the Night 1941 Nominated for 1 Oscar
1 nomination total
City for Conquest 1940 n/a 7.2/10
People of the Cumberland 1937 n/a 7.4/10

[Elia Kazan] Awards

British Academy Film Awards
Golden Globe Awards Berlin International Film Festival
Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Tony Awards
Cannes Film Festival Venice Film Festival
Hollywood Walk of Fame Academy Award for Best Director

[Elia Kazan] Achievements

1. Won two Academy Awards for Best Director (for Viva Zapata! in 1952 and On the Waterfront in 1954).

2. Directed, wrote, and produced such classic films as A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), East of Eden (1955), and Splendor in the Grass (1961).

3. Was a longtime supporter and advocate of "method acting," a dramatic technique associated with the Group Theatre and Actors Studio in the mid-20th century.

4. Named one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century by Time magazine.

5. Received an honorary Academy Award in 1999 for lifetime achievement.

6. Named the first recipient of the Honorary Medal of the International Federation of Film Producers in 1987.

7. Celebrated for over 40 years of work in television, film, and the theater.

8. Authored four works of fiction, including America America (1963), The Arrangement (1967), and The Assassins (1972).

9. Co-founded the Playwrights Company, a theater group that produced several of his plays.

10. Created a number of acclaimed memoirs and essays, including A Life (1987), Elia Kazan: A Director’s Journey (1994), and Kazan on Directing (2009).

More Details

 As a director

  • Baby Doll
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • Gentleman's Agreement
  • Pinky
  • Panic in the Streets
  • Viva Zapata!
  • Man on a Tightrope
  • On the Waterfront
  • East of Eden
  • A Face in the Crowd
  • Wild river
  • Splendor in the Grass
  • America America
  • The Arrangement


  • Elongated nose


  • Father – George Kazantzoglou
  • Mother – Athena Shishmanoglou

 Girlfriend / Spouse

  • Molly Day Thatcher (1931-1963)
  • Constance Dowling (1946-1948)
  • Marilyn Monroe (1951)
  • Vivien Leigh (1951)
  • Jean Peters (1951)
  • Lee Remick
  • Theresa Russell
  • Barbara Loden (1966-1980)
  • Frances Rudge (1981-2003)

 Educated at

  • Williams College
  • Juilliard School
  • Yale School of Drama
  • New Rochelle High School


  • Film director
  • Screenwriter
  • Film producer
  • Writer
  • Actor
  • Theatre director

 Known for

  • American film and theatre director, producer, screenwriter and actor, described by The New York Times as "one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history"