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John Cazale's Death

John Cazale

The life and death of John Cazale:

He was never the leading man, but this sad-eyed character actor appeared in no less than five films that were nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards: "The Godfather"…

John Cazale in The Godfather

… "Godfather II"…

John Cazale in The Godfather 2

… "The Deer Hunter"…

John Cazale in The Deer Hunter

…"Dog Day Afternoon"…

John Cazale in Dog Day Afternoon

…and, "The Conversation."

John Cazale in The Conversation

John Holland Cazale was born in Revere, Massachusetts. He was a Drama student at Oberlin College and Boston University, and after moving to New York City, worked as a messenger at Standard Oil, where he met another aspiring actor: Al Pacino.

John Cazale and Al Pacino

They could have never imagined at the time how much screen history they would later make together. They started acting in various small plays together and it culminated when they were both cast in "The Godfather". Pacino was the strong brother, Michael. Cazale was the slow-witted Fredo.

They reprised their roles in the sequel, where Cazale showed a sharper edge.

Cazale also performed on film and stage with another star from the Godfather series, Robert DeNiro.

John Cazale and Robert Deniro

And he was linked to yet another film giant, but in a personal sense. His girlfriend was Meryl Streep until the time of his death.

John Cazale and Meryl Streep

Even though he was diagnosed with lung cancer, Cazale continued acting and died soon at age 42 after completing his role in "the Deer Hunter".

John Cazale in The Deer Hunter

John Cazale is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Malden, Massachusetts.

John Cazale grave