Biography

Elia Kazan ( September 7 , 1909, Kayseri – September 28, 2003) was a Greek-American director and actor, described as "one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history". He also produced, and wrote screenplays and novels. Born in the Kayseri, Ottoman Empire to Greek parents, they emigrated to New York when he was four. After two years studying acting at Yale, he acted professionally for eight years before becoming a stage and film director. Kazan co-founded the influential Group Theater in 1932 and Actors Studio in 1947, and together with Lee Strasberg, introduced Method acting to the American stage and cinema as a new form of self-expression and psychological "realism". Having been an actor himself for eight years, he brought sensitivity and understanding of the acting process, and was later considered the ideal "actor's director". He himself acted in only a few films, including City for Conquest (1940), alongside James Cagney.

Overall, Kazan influenced the films of the 1950s and 1960s by his run of provocative, issues-driven subjects, and acting. Moreover, his personal brand of cinema, employing real locations over sets, unknowns over stars, and realism over convenient genres, proved influential to a whole generation of independent filmmakers in the 1960s. Film author Ian Freer concludes that "If his achievements are tainted by political controversy, the debt Hollywood — and actors everywhere — owes him, is enormous." In 2010, Martin Scorsese co-directed the documentary film, A Letter to Elia, as a personal tribute to Kazan, who he credits as the inspiration for his becoming a filmmaker.

Elia Kazan ( September 7 , 1909, Kayseri – September 28, 2003) was a Greek-American director and actor, described as "one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history". He also produced, and wrote screenplays and novels. Born in the Kayseri, Ottoman Empire to Greek parents, they emigrated to New York when he was four. After two years studying acting at Yale, he acted professionally for eight years before becoming a stage and film director. Kazan co-founded the influential Group Theater in 1932 and Actors Studio in 1947, and together with Lee Strasberg, introduced Method acting to the American stage and cinema as a new form of self-expression and psychological "realism". Having been an actor himself for eight years, he brought sensitivity and understanding of the acting process, and was later considered the ideal "actor's director". He himself acted in only a few films, including City for Conquest (1940), alongside James Cagney.

Overall, Kazan influenced the films of the 1950s and 1960s by his run of provocative, issues-driven subjects, and acting. Moreover, his personal brand of cinema, employing real locations over sets, unknowns over stars, and realism over convenient genres, proved influential to a whole generation of independent filmmakers in the 1960s. Film author Ian Freer concludes that "If his achievements are tainted by political controversy, the debt Hollywood — and actors everywhere — owes him, is enormous." In 2010, Martin Scorsese co-directed the documentary film, A Letter to Elia, as a personal tribute to Kazan, who he credits as the inspiration for his becoming a filmmaker.

Personal Info

Known For Directing

Gender Male

Known Credits 39

Birthday 1909-09-07

Day of Death 2003-09-28

Place of Birth Constantinople, Ottoman Empire

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Elia Kazanjoglous
  • Элиа Казан
  • 엘리아 카잔

Directing TV ShowsMovies

1976 The Last Tycoon Director
1972 The Visitors Director
1969 The Arrangement Director
1963 America America Director
1961 Splendor in the Grass Director
1960 Wild River Director
1957 A Face in the Crowd Director
1956 Baby Doll Director
1955 East of Eden Director
1955 James Dean Screen Tests (1954-55) Director
1954 On the Waterfront Director
1953 Man on a Tightrope Director
1952 Viva Zapata! Director
1951 A Streetcar Named Desire Director
1950 Panic in the Streets Director
1949 Pinky Director
1947 Gentleman's Agreement Director
1947 The Sea of Grass Director
1947 Boomerang! Director
1945 Watchtower Over Tomorrow Director
1945 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Director
1937 People of the Cumberland Director

Acting

2019 Un Américain nommé Kazan as Himself (archive footage)
2014 Marlon Brando: An Actor Named Desire as Himself (archive footage)
2010 A Letter to Elia as Himself
1995 Elia Kazan: A Director's Journey as Himself
1995 A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies as Himself
1994 Tennessee Williams: Orpheus of the American Stage as Himself (archive footage)
1991 I Am Wanda as Interviewee
1988 Mist as Old man in the coffee house
1982 Elia Kazan: An Outsider as Himself
1978 The Kennedy Center Honors (1 episode)
1969 A New Lifestyle as Himself
1953 The Academy Awards (1 episode)
1951 The Screen Director
1941 Blues in the Night as Nickie Haroyen
1940 City for Conquest as 'Googi'
1935 Pie in the Sky
1935 Strangers All as Protester Calling for a Ballot at Communist Meeting

Production

1969 The Arrangement Producer
1961 Splendor in the Grass Producer
1957 A Face in the Crowd Producer
1955 East of Eden Producer

Writing

1969 The Arrangement Novel Writer
1963 America America Writer

By signing up for an account on TMDb, you can post directly to Twitter and Facebook.

You need to be logged in to continue. Click here to login or here to sign up.

Global

s focus the search bar
p open profile menu
esc close an open window
? open keyboard shortcut window

On media pages

b go back (or to parent when applicable)
e go to edit page

On TV season pages

(right arrow) go to next season
(left arrow) go to previous season

On TV episode pages

(right arrow) go to next episode
(left arrow) go to previous episode

On all image pages

a open add image window

On all edit pages

t open translation selector
ctrl+ s submit form

On discussion pages

n create new discussion
w toggle watching status
p toggle public/private
c toggle close/open
a open activity
r reply to discussion
l go to last reply
ctrl+ enter submit your message
(right arrow) next page
(left arrow) previous page