Oscar-winningfilm director Elia Kazan, whose credits include Hollywood classics On TheWaterfront (1954) and AStreetcar Named Desire(1951), has died aged 94 in New York City.

Thecontroversial Kazan, whose own immigrant experience from Contantinople he documentedin the 1963 film of his book America America, worked first as an actor at New York'sGroup Theater and later, as a director, founded the influential Actors Studio.

He won his first directing Oscar in 1947 for the powerfulGentlemen's Agreement which looked at anti-semitism in the US, and his otherfilms - among them Boomerang (1947), Pinky (1949), Panic In The Streets (1950), Streetcar (1951), Viva Zapata! (1952), the multiple-Oscar winning On TheWaterfront (1954), East Of Eden (1955) and Baby Doll (1956) all characterized Kazan's pioneering work in bringing socialrealism and permissiveness to Hollywood cinema.

But Kazan'smovie profile suffered in the 60s and 70s, and his most notable films of thatperiod Splendor In The Grass (1961), America America and The Last Tycoon (1976) came few and far between.

Part of thereason for this decline came as a result of his controversial "naming" of 17Hollywood personalities to the House UnAmerican Activities Commission (HUAC) inthe McCarthy era.

Kazan wascontroversially given an Academy Award for lifetime achievement in 1999 and, atthe ceremony, where he was presented with the Oscar by Martin Scorsese and his LastTycoon star Robert DeNiro, many attendees booed or refused to applaud the veteran director who hadnever publicly apologized for his actions.