Ben Gazzara has died at the age of 81. Long career, lots of movies and TV shows. His big early break is in Anatomy of a Murder with Jimmy Stewart and Lee Remick. Baby boomers might remember his TV show Run For Your Life.
The teaser sentence from the New York Times obituary says he was Brick in the original Broadway cast of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. This I did not know. They also mention his roles in the influential movies of John Cassavetes in the 1970s, which film buffs will know are a very important part of his career.
The Huffington Post has his picture on the front page with the headline "Big Lebowski actor dies". Gazzara was in The Big Lebowski, but it was a tiny role. I swear, if the HuffPo had been around when Laurence Olivier died, the headline would have read "Polaroid spokesman passes away".
I shouldn't let stuff like this get under my skin, but it feels like we are handing the keys to our culture over to young people who can't find their well toned butts with both hands and a flashlight.