When I think of Ben Gazzara, the movie Husbands always comes to mind. It is but one of my favorite Cassevetes films, all three of my favorite actors were in it: Falk, Gazzara and Cassavetes. I always felt they were to independent film what Sinatra, Dino and Sammy Davis Jr. were to torch songs and celebrity. The Rat Pack was all jokes and song (and dance) with a hint of danger. The Cassavetes set was truly threatening, harboring demons and ceaseless, inexhaustible emotions that wouldn't be nearly as entertaining to watch should they have ever held a "summit" and became drunk on stage. Although, in the following clip....
I always thought Gazzara was a truly talented actor, he was able to arouse the attention of Cassavetes and keep it until the death of my favorite director. He was once married to Janice Rule, one of my favorite broody actresses. I always thought they made a sexy if not dark and broody couple together. The marriage didn't last.
At 81 it can be said he lived a long life and indeed he did, however, when I read the cause of death was pancreatic cancer, I couldn't help but become a bit sad.