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Old February 4 2012, 06:09 AM   #1
Gloomy Giver
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R.I.P. Ben Gazzara & Zalman King

Stage and screen legend Ben Gazzara has died after losing a battle with pancreatic cancer - the same disease that killed his Road House co-star Patrick Swayze.


Producer, director and screenwriter Zalman King, whose credits include erotically-charged films such as "9 1/2 Weeks," "Red Shoe Diaries" and "Wild Orchid," died Friday morning at his Santa Monica home following a six-year battle with cancer. King, whose wife Patricia Louisianna Knop, was at his side at the time of his death, was 70.
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Old February 4 2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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Re: R.I.P. Ben Gazzara & Zalman King

It's a shame that I was also considering a dual RIP thread too - they definitely are dropping fast this week.

X-Files fans owe a lot to King by the way, since David Duchovny starred in Red Shoe Diaries (he was sort of the Rod Serling-like host of the show) in the years before he got hired to play Mulder, so he might not have gotten the role without the exposure. And without King putting them in 9 1/2 Weeks I don't know if Mickey Rourke or Kim Basinger would have found their later success as that film really put both of them on the map.

Gazzara was always one of those actors who seemed to always be around, and was often in that category of "powerhouse" alongside the likes of Ed Asner. I remember him best from his work with Audrey Hepburn in some of her final movies.

RIP both.

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Old February 5 2012, 03:55 PM   #3
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Re: R.I.P. Ben Gazzara & Zalman King

23skidoo wrote: View Post
And without King putting them in 9 1/2 Weeks I don't know if Mickey Rourke or Kim Basinger would have found their later success as that film really put both of them on the map.
Sorry, Alex, can't agree with you on King's importance to Basinger's career. She was already on a strong path with attention grabbing shots as a model (She'd been Miss Breck and had a major Playboy pictorial), a strong TV run (including a lead in a series and a couple of TV movies), and some important movie roles ("The Natural" and "Fool for Love" plus being a Bond Girl early). "9 & 1/2 Weeks" was significant in her career, but I don't think it was critical to it.

Gazzara's certainly a loss. I've been a fan since "Run For Your Life." And his work with Cassavetes will always keep him in the memory of the art house crowd, not to mention his more "pop" work.
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Old February 5 2012, 04:43 PM   #4
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Re: R.I.P. Ben Gazzara & Zalman King

Gazzara was a bit saddening. He was, and still is, one of my favorite character actors of all time. It was a great pleasure to discover Cassavettes through Criterion's wonderful box set of some of his best films, and the biggest gem of them all for me was "The Killing of a Chinese Bookie." It's a bleak, darkly humorous and absolutely captivating movie, and a lot of that has to do with him.

He was one of those actors who could show up in the worst movie you've ever seen at that point in time, and I would always walk away thinking, "Man, that movie was terrible, but he was pretty good."
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Old February 6 2012, 07:59 AM   #5
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Re: R.I.P. Ben Gazzara & Zalman King

This is too bad. I always liked him. RIP.
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