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Ben Gazzara, who appeared in films like 'Anatomy of a Murder' and on stage in plays like 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,' died at age 81 on Friday.
He died after battling pancreatic cancer at the Bellevue Hospital Center in New York City, his lawyer Jay Julien told the New York Times. Gazzara was also treated for throat cancer in 1999 and battled depression throughout his life.
Gazzara is known for his roles as an accused killer in 'Anatomy of a Murder,' pornographer Jackie Treehorn in 'The Big Lebowski,' Vincent Gallo's father in 'Buffalo '66' and a grandfather in the midst of separating from his wife of 40 years in 'Happiness.'
The actor made his debut on-stage as Brick in Tennessee Williams' 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,' a role which was portrayed by Paul Newman in the 1958 film adaptation.
Gazzara earned his first Emmy award for his role in HBO's 'Hysterical Blindness' and was nominated for three Tony awards for his roles in 'A Hatful of Rain,' 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf' and for appearing in the two short plays, 'Hughie' and 'Duet.' His final Broadway role was in the 2006 drama 'Awake and Sing!'
He also appeared opposite Nicole Kidman in Lars Von Trier's 2003 independent film, 'Dogville' and in five John Cassavetes films; 'Husbands,' 'Capone,' 'If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium,' 'Opening Night' and 'The Killing of a Chinese Bookie.'
The actor was married three times, to Louise Erickson between 1951 until 1957, actress Janice Rule from 1961 to 1979 and finally to German model Elke Stuckmann, from 1982 until his death. He once confessed to having an affair with Audrey Hepburn after appearing opposite the actress in the 1979 film 'Bloodline' and the 1981 movie, 'They All Laughed.'
Gazzara was survived by his brother Anthony, wife Elke Stuckmann, their daughter and an adopted daughter.
(Pictured: U.S. actor Ben Gazzara greets the people after he was given the Donostia prize for lifetime achievement in the San Sebastian film festival in San Sebastian, Spain, Thursday Sept. 22, 2005. )
(AP Photo / Alvaro Barrientos)