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October 16, 2006
Cassel On Cassavetes Seymour Cassel, the distinctive character actor boasting close to two hundred film and TV credits over a forty year career, will appear at the Avon Theatre in Stamford on Monday, October 23rd at 7:30 PM, to pay tribute to his friend and mentor, the late actor/director John Cassavetes. The Avon will screen Cassavetesâ ground-breaking 1968 film, âFacesâ, which features Cassel. As a co-founder of the Avon, I had the pleasure of catching up with Seymour in advance. A summary of our conversation follows. It seems the inimitable Seymour Cassel was born with greasepaint in his veins. âMy mother worked in the old Minskyâs troupe, which toured the country in the golden age of burlesque theatre,â Seymour recalls. âOf course she took me with her everywhere. As a kid, I remember wearing a checkered suit and appearing on-stage in the routines worked out by the âbaggy pantsâ comedians. Mostly, I made their pants come down.â In the artistically vibrant New York City of the fifties, Cassel was an acting student with the famed Stella Adler when he encountered an electric aspiring film-maker named John Cassavetes, just six years his senior. The two men clicked immediately, and from then on, both professionally and personally, Seymour never left John for very long.