1. Elia Kazan was an 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”.
2. 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.
3. Noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins.
4. He directed a string of successful films, including A Streetcar Named Desire .
5. During his career, he won two Oscars as Best Director and received an Honorary Oscar, won three Tony Awards, and four Golden Globes.
6. His films were concerned with personal or social issues of special concern to him.
7. In 1954, he directed On the Waterfront, a film about union corruption on the New York harbor waterfront.
8. His testimony helped end the careers of former acting colleagues Morris Carnovsky and Art Smith, along with ending the work of playwright Clifford Odets. Nearly a half-century later, his anti-Communist testimony continued to cause controversy.
9. When Kazan was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1999, dozens of actors chose not to applaud as 250 demonstrators picketed the event.
10. Director Stanley Kubrick called him, “without question, the best director we have in America,
11. Elia Kazan was born in the Fener district of Istanbul, to Cappadocian Greek parents originally from Kayseri in Anatolia. His parents, George and Athena Kazantzoglou , immigrated to the United States when he was four years old.