Seymour Cassel obituary

American actor closely associated with the directors John Cassavetes and Wes Anderson

Seymour Cassel, who has died aged 84, belonged to the stock company of compelling actors cast by John Cassavetes in his bracingly realistic studies of sour marriages and faltering friendships. He was in seven features directed by Cassavetes over 25 years, appearing opposite the film-maker’s other regulars, Peter Falk, Ben Gazzara and Gena Rowlands. Cassel’s best known character, the cocksure Chet, in Faces (1968), allowed him to show off his mischievous streak and earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.

A later generation of directors, including Steve Buscemi and Wes Anderson, gave Cassel mostly comedic supporting roles throughout his 60s and 70s, by which time his sandy hair had turned a striking silver. Frequently seen chewing a cigar, Cassel never lost his easy grin, always giving the impression that he was sharing a joke with himself.

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