John Holland Cazale began his acting career with theater productions in Boston and New York City. After appearing in early movies such as ‘Paths of Glory’ (1957), he made his screen debut in short-film ‘The American Way’ (1962).
Thereafter, Cazale continued his theater work, earning ‘Obie Awards’ for his performances. He was seen in an episode of police-crime series ‘N.Y.P.D.’ (1968), which was his only TV appearance.
Cazale got his break as ‘Fredo Corleone’ in Francis Ford Coppola’s epic crime-film ‘The Godfather’ (1972) which was his feature-film debut. His acting abilities were noticed even in the small role, and the record-breaking hit movie brought him fame.
Coppola next cast Cazale as ‘sound-assistant Stan’ in mystery-thriller ‘The Conversation’ (1974). His character ‘Fredo’ had significant presence in the sequel, ‘The Godfather Part-II’ (1974), which left a lasting impression.
Cazale again co-starred with acting-partner Al Pacino in Sidney Lumet’s crime-drama ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ (1975), earning nomination for ‘Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor.’
Cazale’s last movie was epic war-drama ‘The Deer Hunter’ (1978) which he completed filming, but was released after his death.
During his brief film-career of 7 years, Cazale acted in only five feature films. While all of the five were nominated for ‘Academy Award for Best Picture,’ three movies- ‘The Godfather,’ ‘The Godfather Part-II’ and ‘The Deer Hunter,’ won the award.