Ben Gazzara died today. He was 81. I was friendly with his daughter Liz for a while in the 1990s when she worked in film editing. She was a smart and funny lady–still is, I expect.
I met the old man on the set of “The Big Lebowski.” It was night and I was on crutches. I hopped from my car down to the set. The Coens filmed Treehorn’s pad in a fantastic and weird house in the Hollywood Hills (a location that has been used many times in movies and TV commercials). As I approached the house, Gazzara came out, wearing his white suit, and holding a drink. He walked to his trailer, accompanied by two production assistants. There was nothing about the drink that looked like a prop.
Gazarra was the real deal, the original Brick in the Broadway production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” and best known for his work with John Cassavetes. He was a New Yorker.
Rest in Peace.
[Featured Image by Jeremy Pollard]