Nick Cassavetes

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Nick Cassavetes
Cassavetes in June 2009
Born Nicholas David Rowland Cassavetes
(1959-05-21) May 21, 1959 (age 57)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor, director, writer
Years active 1970–present
Spouse(s) Isabelle Rafalovich (divorced)[1]
Heather Wahlquist[1]

Nicholas David Rowland "Nick" Cassavetes (born May 21, 1959)[2] is an American filmmaker and actor.

Early life and career[edit]

Cassavetes was born in New York City,[3] the son of actress Gena Rowlands and Greek-American actor and film director John Cassavetes.[2] As a child, he appeared in two of his father's films: Husbands (1970) and A Woman Under the Influence (1974). After spending so much of his youth surrounded by the film industry, Cassavetes initially decided he did not want to go into the field. He instead attended Syracuse University on a basketball scholarship. His athletic career was effectively ended by an injury, and he decided to rethink his aspirations, ultimately deciding to attend his parents' alma mater, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.[4]

He has appeared in the films Face/Off, The Wraith, Life, Class of 1999 II: The Substitute, Backstreet Dreams and The Astronaut's Wife, among others.[2] He has directed several films, including John Q, Alpha Dog, She's So Lovely, Unhook the Stars, The Notebook, and My Sister's Keeper.[2] He also adapted the screenplay for Blow[4] and wrote the dialogue for the Justin Timberlake music video "What Goes Around... Comes Around".[5]

Cassavetes finished in fifth place in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Invitational Season 5, attempting a bluff.[6] He also appeared on season 5 of The Game Show Network's (GSN) High Stakes Poker.[7]

He also has played himself in the season 7 opener of Entourage on HBO and Tattoo Joe as a cameo in The Hangover: Part II, replacing Liam Neeson from the cast due to scheduling conflicts.[8]

Personal life[edit]

In 1985, Cassavetes married Isabelle Rafalovich.[citation needed] They had two daughters together, Virginia Sara (born 1986) and Sasha (born 1988),[citation needed] before divorcing. He then married Heather "Queenie" Wahlquist,[1] who has appeared in several of his films, including a small role in The Notebook as Sara, a secondary character and best friend to the female lead Allie Hamilton, portrayed by Rachel McAdams.[9] Cassavetes's own mother, Gena Rowlands, appears as the older, married Allie (Hamilton) Calhoun.

Sasha was born with a heart defect and underwent substantial surgery; Cassavetes' film John Q. was dedicated to Sasha, and his later adaptation of My Sister's Keeper was based in part on Sasha's medical experience.[10]

Cassavetes was named as one of the Top 500 Tax Delinquents by the State of California in April 2012. He was cited as owing close to $273,000 in back taxes.[11][12] In July 2012, he caused some controversy when he defended incest and linked it to gay marriage.[13]


Year Film Role Notes
1986 The Wraith (as Packard Walsh)
Black Moon Rising (with Tommy Lee Jones/Linda Hamilton)
1989 Blind Fury (as Lyle Pike)
1996 Unhook the Stars (director, co-writer)
1997 Face/Off (as Dietrich Hassler)
She's So Lovely (director)
1999 Life (as Sergeant Dillard)
2002 John Q (director)
2004 The Notebook (director)
2006 Alpha Dog (director, writer)
2009 My Sister's Keeper (director, co-writer)
2012 Yellow (director, co-writer)
2014 The Other Woman (director)


  1. ^ a b c "Nick Cassavetes". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Nick Cassavetes". NNDB. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  3. ^ "Nick Cassavetes." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. Vol. 76. Gale, 2007. Gale Biography In Context. Web. 21 Mar. 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Nick Cassavetes". Retrieved 2009-09-10. 
  5. ^ "What Goes Around, Comes Around". Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  6. ^ "Nick Cassavetes WPT Celebrity Invitational Profile". World Poker Tour. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  7. ^ "High Stakes Poker 5 - Nick Casavetes". GSN Pressroom. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  8. ^ "Liam Neeson cut from 'The Hangover Part II'". Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
  9. ^ Cassavetes, Nick (Director) (2005-02-08). The Notebook (DVD). United States of America: New Line Home Entertainment. ISBN 978-0-7806-4883-8. Retrieved 2009-09-19. 
  10. ^ Dedications at the end of movies, and what they mean
  11. ^ "Top 500 Delinquent Taxpayers". California Franchise Tax Board. 17 May 2012. Archived from the original on 20 May 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2016. 
  12. ^ "Pamela Anderson, Lionel Richie and Joe Francis Among Hollywood Names on California's Tax Delinquents List". The Hollywood Reporter. 14 April 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2016. 
  13. ^ Hollywood director links incest with equal marriage retrieved 11 September 2012

External links[edit]