Elia Kazan biography

Elia Kazan

Film director

1909 – 2003


Who was Elia Kazan?

Elia Kazan was a Greek-American director, producer, writer and actor, described by The New York Times as "one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history". He was born in Istanbul, Ottoman Empire, to ethnic Greek parents. After studying acting at Yale, he acted professionally for eight years, later joining the Group Theater in 1932, and co-founded the Actors Studio in 1947. With Robert Lewis and Cheryl Crawford, he introduced Method acting to the American stage and cinema as a new form of self-expression and psychological "realism." Kazan acted in only a few films, including City for Conquest.

Kazan introduced a new generation of unknown young actors to the movie audiences, including Marlon Brando and James Dean. Noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins. He became "one of the consummate filmmakers of the 20th century" after directing a string of successful films, including, A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and East of Eden. During his career, he won two Oscars as Best Director and received an Honorary Oscar, won three Tony Awards, and four Golden Globes. Among the other actors he introduced to movie audiences were Warren Beatty, Carroll Baker, Julie Harris, Andy Griffith, Lee Remick, Rip Torn, Eli Wallach, Eva Marie Saint, Martin Balsam, Fred Gwynne, and Pat Hingle.


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"Elia Kazan." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 23 Nov. 2020. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/elia_kazan>.

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Sep 7, 1909
Also known as
  • Elias Kazanjoglou
  • Ἠλίας Καζαντζόγλου
  • Elia 'Gadget' Kazan
  • Gadg
  • The Actor's Director
  • Gadget
  • Elia Kazanjoglous
  • Elias Kazantzoglou
  • Elias Kazancioglu
  • Ottoman Empire
  • Greece
  • United States of America
  • Turkey
  • Williams College
  • Yale University
Lived in
  • Istanbul
Sep 28, 2003

on July 23, 2013

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