Actor Ben Gazzara Dead At 81

Ben Gazzara, a method actor known for intense film, Broadway, TV performances, died Friday in New York at 81.

Ben Gazzara, whose powerful dramatic performances brought an intensity to a variety of roles and made him a memorable presence in such iconic productions as the original Cat on a Hot Tin Roof on Broadway and the film The Big Lebowski.

Photo credit: AP | In this file photo, actor Ben Gazzara attends The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures awards gala in New York. Gazzara, whose powerful dramatic performances brought an intensity to a variety of roles and made him a memorable presence in films, on television and on Broadway in the original “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” has died at age 81. Longtime family friend Suzanne Mados said Gazzara died Friday, Feb. 3, 2012, in Manhattan after being in hospice care with cancer. (Jan. 11, 2011)

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