Elias Kazantzoglou (1909-?)

He was born to Greek immigrants originally from the Ottoman Empire.

Elias Kazan (?-2003)

Upon arriving in America, the surname was shortened and Anglicized to Kazan. Considering how the name has –oglu, which means that it is a Turkish patronymic name, it may be rooted in the Turkish word kazanç meaning “profit, gain.” This is an important detail since the Ottoman Empire at one point did colonize Greece.

He is known for directing famous films, such as The Streetcar named Desire, On the Waterfront, and East of Eden. His provocative film-making subjects inspired many films in the 1950s-60s, including the directors Sidney Lumet and Stanley Kubrick.

Of course, during the Red Scare, Kazan testified against his fellow actors and producers he suspected were Communists.

When he passed away in 2003 at the age of 93, he would pass on his name to two granddaughters, Zoe and Maya Kazan, who are actors.



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