Actor, Director. Born Biagio Anthony Gazzara, the son of a Sicilian immigrant who was a laborer, he was reared in a rough area on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City, New York. His first thought of becoming an actor was at the age of eleven, when he watched a production at the Madison Square Boys Club. He enrolled at the City College of New York hesitantly studying Engineering while pondering a career as a performer. He followed this notion and dropped out of college to attend the Actors Studio after receiving a scholarship. He appeared on Broadway first with his debut in "End as a Man" (1953 to 1954), for which he received a Theatre World Award while simultaneously appearing on live television programs. Gazzara originated the part of 'Brick' in the stage production of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (1955 to 1956) and earned a Tony Award nomination for playing 'Johnny Pope' in "A Hat Full of Rain" (1955 to 1956). He marked his motion picture debut as the sadistic cadet in "The Strange One" (1957) and followed it with an acclaimed performance as the soldier on trial in "Anatomy of a Murder" (1959). Gazzara became familiar to television audiences playing 'Detective Sergeant Nick Anderson' in "Arrest and Trial" (1963 to 1964) and furthered his place in television history as 'Paul Bryan,' the terminal attorney-turned-adventurer in "Run For Your Life" (1965 to 1968), for which he earned a Golden Globe nomination. Further films include "The Bridge at Remagen" (1969), "Husbands" (1970, he co-starred with his close friends John Cassavetes and Peter Falk), "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie" (1976), "Opening Night" (1977), the latter two which Cassavetes directed and as the heavy 'Brad Wesley' in "Roadhouse" (1989). He directed several episodes of his series "Run For Your Live" as well as Peter Falk in "Columbo." He received further Tony Award nominations with "Hughie/Duet" (1975) and "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" (1977). He was formerly married to actress Janice Rule.
Bio by: C.S.