In the Moment: My Life as an Actor

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9780786713998: In the Moment: My Life as an Actor
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In the Moment is an intimate memoir by the quintessential “actor’s actor.” Ben Gazzara established his name at the Actor’s Studio in 1952. Working under Elia Kazan and Lee Strasberg, alongside Marlon Brando and James Dean, and gaining success with mega-stars like Marilyn Monroe, Gazzara helped to introduce a new acting style to the world. More importantly, however, the Actor’s Studio launched his career as a leading man when he was handpicked by Kazan to originate the role of Brick on Broadway in Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Soon Gazzara achieved national fame in the film Anatomy of a Murder. Launched into a career in which he worked and played with Frank Sinatra, Orson Welles, Laurence Olivier, Shelley Winters, Lee Remick, Woody Allen, and Audrey Hepburn, who was for a time the author’s lover, Gazzara may be best known for his early work in independent film, collaborating on a string of off-beat, experimental movies by John Cassavetes. In the Moment takes readers onto the movie sets, revealing for the first time how these and other much-loved films were created. More recently, Gazzara has sprung into the second phase of his career by appearing in newer independent films.

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About the Author:

Ben Gazzara has acted in more than 70 feature films and in hundreds of television programs. He has received six Emmy nominations, winning in 2003 in the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries category for HBO's Hysterical Blindness. He has acted in the theater for over 50 years, garnering Tony nominations for his roles in Hughie, Duet, and the 1992 revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Gazzara lives in New York City.

From Publishers Weekly:

Since Gazzara's been a star for more than 50 years, most readers can remember at least one of his performances: on stage in Who's Afraidof Virginia Woolf?, in old television shows like Arrest and Trial and Run for Your Life or in recent independent films like The Spanish Prisoner and The Big Lebowski. In this memoir, Gazzara recalls his altar boy days on East 29th Street in New York City; his discovery of acting at the Madison Square Boys Club; his immigrant Italian parents, who trusted their son to embark on a totally non-blue collar career; his training in the Actors Studio; his experiences on the sets of various films; his affairs with a series of attractive women. His prose is plain and he's too much the gentleman to do a kiss-and-tell on his celebrity lovers like Audrey Hepburn, but his thoughts on working with various creative men—Kazan, Bogdanovich, Albee and others—are revealing. Gazzara is most engaging when he describes working with John Cassavetes and Peter Falk on that masterpiece of scriptless filmmaking, Husbands; a story about three men who bond while mourning a friend who has died, Husbandsbrought the three actors a profound sense of closeness as they went through intense improv sessions. While not bursting with the typical salaciousness of a Hollywood autobiography, Gazzara's simply written memoir should please fans of late 20th–century stage and screen craft.
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