Nick Cassavetes

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Nick Cassavetes
Cassavetes in June 2009
Nicholas David Rowland Cassavetes

(1959-05-21) May 21, 1959 (age 64)
  • Actor
  • director
  • writer
Years active1970–present
Isabelle Rafalovich
(m. 1985, divorced)
(div. 2017)

Nicholas David Rowland Cassavetes (born May 21, 1959)[1] is an American actor, director, and writer. He has directed such films as She's So Lovely (1997), John Q. (2002), The Notebook (2004), Alpha Dog (2006), and My Sister's Keeper (2009). His acting credits include an uncredited role in Husbands (1970)—which was directed by his father, John Cassavetes—as well as roles in the films The Wraith (1986), Face/Off (1997), and Blow (2001).

Early life and career[edit]

Cassavetes was born in New York City,[2] the son of Greek-American actor and film director John Cassavetes and actress Gena Rowlands.[1] As a child, he appeared in his father's film Husbands (1970). 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, but after an injury effectively ended his athletic career, he decided to rethink his aspirations, ultimately deciding to attend his parents' alma mater, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.[3]

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.[1] He has directed several films, including John Q, Alpha Dog, She's So Lovely, Unhook the Stars, The Notebook, and My Sister's Keeper.[1] He also adapted the screenplay for Blow[3] and wrote the dialogue for the Justin Timberlake music video "What Goes Around... Comes Around".[4]

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

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.[7]

Personal life[edit]

In 1985, Cassavetes married Isabelle Rafalovich.[8] They had two daughters together before divorcing. 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.[9]

Cassavetes later married Heather "Queenie" Wahlquist,[8] and they have a daughter together. Wahlquist 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.[10] Cassavetes' own mother, Gena Rowlands, appears as the older, married Allie (Hamilton) Calhoun.




Year Film Role Notes
1970 Husbands Nick Uncredited
1985 Mask T.J.
1986 The Wraith Packard Walsh
1986 Black Moon Rising Luis
1986 Quiet Cool Valence
1988 Under the Gun Tony Braxton
1988 Assault of the Killer Bimbos Wayne-O
1989 Blind Fury Lyle Pike
1990 Backstreet Dreams Mikey
1991 Delta Force 3: The Killing Game Charlie Direct-to-DVD
1992 Twogether Wolfgang Amadeus "John" Madler
1993 Sins of Desire Barry Mitchum
1993 Sins of the Night Jack Neitsche
1993 Broken Trust Alan Brogan
1994 Class of 1999 II: The Substitute Emmett Grazer
1994 Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle Robert Sherwood
1996 Black Rose of Harlem Johnny
1997 Face/Off Dietrich Hassler
1997 Farticus Adonis Papadapadopounopoulopoulos
1999 Life Sergeant Dillard
1999 The Astronaut's Wife Capt. Alex Streck
2001 Blow Man in Derek's Salon Uncredited
2011 The Hangover Part II Tattoo Joe
2013 Love and Skin Uncle Nicky Short film
2021 Prisoners of the Ghostland Psycho [11]
2021 Queenpins Captain Pain


Year Film Role Notes
1980 Reunion Steve Cowan TV movie
1987 Matlock Foley Episode: "The Convict"
1987 L.A. Law Richard Bertrand Episode: "Sparky Brackman R.I.P. ????-1987"
1988 Shooter Tex TV movie
1989 Quantum Leap Primo La Palma Episode: "Double Identity - November 8, 1965"
1990 The Marshall Chronicles Gus Episode: "Do the Write Thing"
2010 Entourage Nick Cassavetes 2 episodes
2017 Tales Rodney King Episode: "F*ck the Police"


Year Film Notes
1996 Unhook the Stars
1997 She's So Lovely
2002 John Q.
2004 The Notebook
2006 Alpha Dog
2009 My Sister's Keeper
2012 Yellow
2014 The Other Woman
2023 God Is a Bullet


Year Film Notes
1996 Unhook the Stars
2001 Blow
2003 Whatever We Do Short film
2006 Alpha Dog
2007 Justin Timberlake: What Goes Around ...Comes Around Short film
2009 My Sister's Keeper Co-writer
2012 Yellow Co-writer


  1. ^ a b c d "Nick Cassavetes". NNDB. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
  2. ^ "Nick Cassavetes." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. Vol. 76. Gale, 2007. Gale Biography In Context. Web. March 21, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "Nick Cassavetes". Archived from the original on April 2, 2010. Retrieved September 10, 2009.
  4. ^ "What Goes Around, Comes Around". Archived from the original on October 5, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
  5. ^ "Nick Cassavetes WPT Celebrity Invitational Profile". World Poker Tour. Archived from the original on April 2, 2010. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
  6. ^ "High Stakes Poker 5 - Nick Casavetes". GSN Pressroom. Archived from the original on September 13, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
  7. ^ Ward, Kate (April 9, 2011). "'The Hangover Part II': Liam Neeson's cameo cut from film". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  8. ^ a b "Nick Cassavetes". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
  9. ^ Dedications at the end of movies, and what they mean
  10. ^ Cassavetes, Nick (Director) (February 8, 2005). The Notebook (DVD). United States of America: New Line Home Entertainment. ISBN 978-0-7806-4883-8. Retrieved September 19, 2009.
  11. ^ Evangelista, Chris (January 26, 2021). "'Prisoners of the Ghostland' With Nicolas Cage Picked Up by RLJE Films Ahead of Sundance Premiere". /Film. Retrieved February 1, 2021.

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