The American actor Ben Gazzara has died of pancreatic cancer, aged 81. The actor's attorney told reporters that Gazarra passed away at a Manhattan hospital. He leaves behind his wife of 30 years, Elke and a daughter. Elke is Ben's third wife and he has previously revealed that he was romantically involved with the actress Audrey Hepburn, after they both appeared in Bloodline and They All Laughed together.
Ben Gazzara enjoyed a 60 year career and appeared in over 100 movies and TV films. He was perhaps best known for his 1965 film Run For your Life and 1959's Anatomy of a Murder. In more recent years, Gazzara featured alongside Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo in The Thomas Crown Affair and in 1998, played the role of Vincent Gallo's father in the cult classic Buffalo 66. That same year, he played the role of Jackie Treehorn in the Coen brothers' The Big Lebowski. In 2002, Gazzara won an Emmy award for his performance in the HBO drama Hysterical Blindness.
BEN GAZARRA also enjoyed a successful career on the stage. In 1955, he played the role of Brick in the 1955 Broadway version of Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, though he lost out to Paul Newman when they cast the Hollywood version. In 1977, he landed a Tony nomination for his performance in the stage version of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?