Cassavetes, John (1929--1989) By Akser, Murat
John Nicholas Cassavetes (1929--1989) was born to Greek parents in New York. He originally trained in the theater. His acting in commercial Hollywood films such as The Dirty Dozen (1967) and Rosemary’s Baby (1968), for which he received an Academy Award nomination, gave him some mainstream popularity and the means to finance his own independent projects. These were characterized by a realistic, pseudo-documentary style, loose storylines centered on quirky characters, and a strong reliance on actors’ performances. He is considered one of the pioneers of American independent cinema.