Good Riddance

Elia Kazan

Died September 28th, 2003

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stage and film director Elia Kazan, who won anOscar for "On The Waterfront," and a Tony for his Broadway staging of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman," died on Sunday at his Manhattan home, according to reports in media including CNN and The New York Times. He was 94.

Kazan, who was born in Constantinople, came into his own in the 1940s, staging plays by the preeminent writers of the day, from Tennessee Williams to Thornton Wilder to Miller, and directed some of the most famous actors of his time from Marlon Brando to Gregory Peck to James Dean.

Born to Greek parents who emigrated to the United States when he was a child, he attended Williams College and Yale Drama School before joining New York's Group Theater as an actor. He later embraced directing, turning out naturalistic works often with a socially conscious bent, and was a founder of the influential Actors Studio.

He won a pair of Oscars, for "Waterfront" in 1954, which starred Brando, and for "Gentlemen's Agreement," (1947) with Peck. He won Broadway Tony Awards for his direction of Miller's "All My Sons," in 1947, and for "Salesman" two years later.

Kazan, who also directed Tennessee Williams classics including, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "Sweet Bird of Youth" and "Streetcar Named Desire," which also starred Brando, had a falling out with colleagues after he testified before the House Committee on Un-American Activities during the McCarthy era.

Kazan admitted he joined the Communist Party in 1934 before becoming disenchanted 18 months later. Under pressure, he became "a friendly witness" for the committee, naming 17 Hollywood personalities who were then members of the party.

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