Friday, July 12, 2024

Famed Character Actor Seymour Cassel Dies at 84 in Los Angeles, Oscar Nominated for John Cassavetes’s “Faces,” Appeared in “Rushmore,” Many Hits, TV Staple


Seymour Cassel, the veteran character actor, has died at age 84.

Cassel was nominated for an Oscar in 1969 for John Cassavetes’ “Faces,” but he was a great journeyman actor who appeared in dozens of highly regarded TV shows and movies. He was distinctive, and developed a following among cineastes.

One of them was Wes Anderson, who featured Cassel in movies like “Rushmore” and “The Royal Tennenbaums.” But what a career! You couldn’t change channels in the 60s and 70s without seeing Seymour. He was that much in demand.

Cassel had a big resurgence in the late 80s and early 90s, working with directors like Robert Altman, Barry Levinson, and Steve Buscemi. Seymour appeared in nine episodes of Tracey Ullmann’s award winning “Tracey Takes On…” and never stopped.

I’m told the last couple of years old age kind of socked him, and I’m so sorry to hear it. He was a great storyteller and it was always a pleasure to run into him. He was divorced and had two children. According to the imdb, he gave Slash his nickname. I’m not surprised.

Seymour appeared in two Cassavetes movies, “Shadows” in 1958, and “Faces” (1969). He got the Oscar nod for the second one. He worked with Cassavetes, his friend, a lot, and that’s what I always associated him with when I saw him. He was a cool guy, a total original, and will be sorely missed.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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