Ben Piazza; Broadway, Screen Actor

Ben Piazza, a Broadway, film and television actor most recently seen as studio tycoon Darryl F. Zanuck in the 1991 motion picture “Guilty by Suspicion,” is dead of cancer at 58.

Wayne Tripp said his longtime companion died Saturday in Los Angeles.

A native of Little Rock, Ark., Piazza turned to the theater after graduating from Princeton University in 1955. He was accepted into the Actors Studio in New York and soon was seen on Broadway in “Song of the Grasshopper,” “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?,” “The Fun Couple” and “Kataki,” a two- character play that brought him a Theater World Award for the 1958-59 season.

His American film debut came in 1959 with “The Hanging Tree,” and over the years he was seen in “Tell Me That You Love Me Junie Moon,” “The Bad News Bears,” “Apocalypse Now,” “The Blues Brothers,” “Mask” and “Clean and Sober.”


On television he appeared in episodes of “Family Ties,” “Jake and the Fatman,” “St. Elsewhere,” “Dynasty” and “Forever Fernwood.” His TV feature films include “The Billionaire Boys Club,” “Consenting Adult,” “The Grace Kelly Story” and “The Winds of War.”

In addition to Tripp, Piazza is survived by two sisters and six brothers.