Elia Kazan was a Greek-American director, producer, writer and actor, described by The New York Times as "one of the most honored and influential directors in Broadway and Hollywood history". He was born in Istanbul, Ottoman Empire, to ethnic Greek parents. After studying acting at Yale, he acted professionally for eight years, later joining the Group Theater in 1932, and co-founded the Actors Studio in 1947. With Lee Strasberg, he introduced Method acting to the American stage and cinema as a new form of self-expression and psychological "realism." Kazan acted in only a few films, including City for Conquest.
Kazan introduced a new generation of unknown young actors to the movie audiences, including Marlon Brando and James Dean. Noted for drawing out the best dramatic performances from his actors, he directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, resulting in nine wins. He became "one of the consummate filmmakers of the 20th century" after directing a string of successful films, including, A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and East of Eden. During his career, he won two Oscars as Best Director and received an Honorary Oscar, won three Tony Awards, and four Golden Globes. Among the other actors he introduced to movie audiences were Warren Beatty, Carroll Baker, Julie Harris, Andy Griffith, Lee Remick, Rip Torn, Eli Wallach, Eva Marie Saint, Martin Balsam, Fred Gwynne, and Pat Hingle.