John Holland Cazale (August 12, 1935 – March 13, 1978): 8 was an American actor. He appeared in five films over seven years, all of which were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture: The Godfather (1972), The Conversation (1974), The Godfather Part II (1974), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), and The Deer Hunter (1978), with the two Godfather films and The Deer Hunter winning. Cazale started as a theater actor in New York City, ranging from regional, to off-Broadway, to Broadway acting alongside Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, and Sam Waterston. Cazale soon became one of Hollywood's premier character actors, starting with his role as the doomed, weak-minded Fredo Corleone opposite longtime friend Al Pacino in Francis Ford Coppola's film The Godfather and its 1974 sequel, as well as Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon. In 1977, Cazale was diagnosed with lung cancer, but he chose to complete his role in The Deer Hunter. He died shortly after, in New York City on March 13, 1978. Theatrical producer Joseph Papp called Cazale "an amazing intellect, an extraordinary person and a fine, dedicated artist." David Thomson, in his The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, says "It's the lives and works of people like John Cazale that make filmgoing worthwhile." A film documentary tribute to Cazale, I Knew It Was You, was screened at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival featuring interviews with Al Pacino, Steve Buscemi, Meryl Streep, Robert De Niro, Gene Hackman, Richard Dreyfuss, Francis Ford Coppola, and Sidney Lumet.
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