Actor Ben Gazzara died of pancreatic cancer today, reports the New York Times. The obituary recounts a long and varied career on stage (a starring role in the original Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), television (Run for Your LIfe in the early '60s), and film (especially with director John Cassavetes in movies such as The Killing of a Chinese Bookie). He may be best known, however, for a wide range of supporting roles in movies such as Summer of Sam, Bandits, and the Big Lebowski.
Gazzara was a contemporary of Brando but never achieved the same level of fame, and the Times recounts a quote from the actor himself in 1998: "When I became hot, so to speak, in the theater, I got a lot of offers. I won’t tell you the pictures I turned down because you would say, ‘You are a fool.’ And I was a fool.” (Read more Ben Gazzara stories.)