Jack Palance

Jack Palance

Infobox actor

imagesize = 150px
caption = Palance during the filming of "The Godchild" (1974)
birthdate = birth date|1919|2|18|mf=y
birthplace = Hazle Township, Pennsylvania, USA
deathdate = death date and age|2006|11|10|1919|2|18
deathplace = Montecito, California, USA
birthname = Volodymyr Palahnyuk
othername = Jack Brazzo Walter Palance Walter J. Palance Walter Jack Palance
academyawards = Best Supporting Actor 1991 "City Slickers"
goldenglobeawards = Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture 1991 "City Slickers"
spouse = Elaine Rogers (1987–2006) Virginia Baker (1949–1968)

Jack Palance (born Volodymyr Palahniuk; February 18, 1919November 10, 2006) was an Oscar-winning American film actor. With his rugged facial features, Palance was best known to modern movie audiences as both the characters of Curly and Duke in the two "City Slickers" movies, but his career spanned half a century of film and television appearances.


Early life

Palance, one of five children, was born Volodymyr Palahniuk ( _uk. Володимир Палагнюк) in the Lattimer Mines section of Hazle Township, Pennsylvania, the son of Anna (née Gramiak) and Ivan Palahniuk, who was an anthracite coal miner. [ [http://www.filmreference.com/film/63/Jack-Palance.html Jack Palance Biography (1920?-)] ] Palance's parents were Ukrainian immigrants, [ [http://www.ukemonde.com/palance/last_role.html The Last Role of an American "City Slicker" with a Ukrainian Soul] ] [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6138310.stm BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Veteran western star Palance dies] ] his father a native of Ivane Zolote in Southwestern Ukraine and his mother from the Lviv region. [ [http://www.ukrweekly.com/Archive/2006/470609.shtml OBITUARY: Academy Award-winning actor Jack Palance, 87 (11/19/06)] ] He worked in coal mines during his youth before becoming a boxer.

In the late 1930s, Palance started a professional boxing career. Fighting under the name "Jack Brazzo", Palance reportedly compiled a record of 15 consecutive victories with 12 knockouts before fighting the future heavyweight contender Joe Baksi in a "Pier-6" brawl. Palance lost a close decision, [ [http://www.boxrec.com/boxer_display.php?boxer_id=041420 Boxing Records] Official records only show Palance in one sanctioned fight. His other fights may have been club fights.] [ [http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB0C10F6385E127A93C6A81788D85F408585F9 M. A. SCHMIDT, "PALANCE FROM PANIC TO PAGAN", The New York Times, March 14, 1954, Drama Section X5] In an early interview, Palance claimed to have fought Baksi to a draw] and recounted: "Then, I thought, you must be nuts to get your head beat in for $200". [ [http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/latimes/access/21416664.html?dids=21416664:21416664&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Apr+30%2C+1995&author=Lawrence+Christon&pub=Los+Angeles+Times+(pre-1997+Fulltext)&edition=&startpage=3&desc=Home+on+the+Range+It%27s+been+a+long%2C+dusty+journey+since+%60Panic+in+the+Streets%27+and+%60Shane.%27+These+days%2C+Jack+Palance+is+tough+as+boot+leather-except+when+it+comes+to+talking+about+his+own+life Lawrence Christon, "Home on the Range It's been a long, dusty journey since Panic in the Streets and Shane", The Los Angeles Times, April 30, 1995, Calendar Section] In a later interview, Palance admits to have lost to Baksi]

With the outbreak of the Second World War, Palance's boxing career ended and his military career began as a member of the United States Army Air Forces. Palance's rugged face, which took many beatings in the boxing ring, was disfigured when he bailed out of his burning B-24 Liberator while on a training flight over southern Arizona, where he was a student pilot. Plastic surgeons repaired the damage as best they could, but he was left with a distinctive, somewhat gaunt, look. After much reconstructive surgery, he was discharged in 1944.

Palance graduated from Stanford University in 1947 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama. During his university years, to make ends meet he also worked as a short order cook, waiter, soda jerk, lifeguard at Jones Beach State Park, and photographer's model.


Palance's acting break came as Marlon Brando's understudy in "A Streetcar Named Desire", and he eventually replaced Brando on stage as Stanley Kowalski.

In 1947, Palance made his Broadway debut, and this was followed three years later by his screen debut in the movie "Panic in the Streets" (1950). The very same year, he was featured in "Halls of Montezuma" about the U.S. Marines in World War II, where he was credited as "Walter (Jack) Palance". Palance was quickly recognized for his skill as a character actor, receiving an Oscar nomination for only his third film role, as Lester Blaine in "Sudden Fear". The following year, Palance was again nominated for an Oscar, this time for his role as the evil gunfighter Jack Wilson in "Shane". Roger Waters' music album "The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking" features sound bites from that movie. Jack Palance makes a cameo in the song "5.01 A.M. (The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking)", not as Jack Wilson, but as a biker ("An angel on a Harley...") who says "How you doing, bro? Where you been? Where you going?"

Several other Western roles followed, but he also played such varied roles as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula and Attila the Hun.

In 1957, Palance won an Emmy for best actor for his portrayal of Mountain McClintock in the "Playhouse 90" production of Rod Serling's "Requiem for a Heavyweight".

Jean-Luc Godard persuaded Palance to take on the role of Hollywood producer Jeremy Prokosch in the 1963 nouvelle vague movie "Le Mépris", with Brigitte Bardot and Michel Piccoli. Although the main dialogue was in French, Palance spoke mostly English.

While still busy making movies, in the 1960s Palance also released an album of country-Western music for Warner Bros. Records. This happened in 1969 and it recalled the Lee Hazlewood music that was popular at the time. Recorded in Nashville with the usual studio cats, the album is a playful country rock romp not unlike other late 60's Nashville recordings and featured Palance's self penned classic song 'The Meanest Guy That Ever Lived'. The album was re-released in 2003 by the "Walter" label in CD version.

He also hosted (with his daughter Holly Palance) the television series "Ripley's Believe It or Not!".

Appearances in "Young Guns" (1988) and Tim Burton's "Batman" (1989) reinvigorated Palance's career, and demand for his services kept him involved in new projects each year right up to the turn of the century.

In 2001, Palance returned to the recording studio as a special guest on friend Laurie Z's "Heart of the Holidays" album to narrate the famous classic poem The Night Before Christmas.

In 2002, he starred in the television movie "Living with the Dead" opposite Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and Diane Ladd. In 2004, he starred in another television production, "Back When We Were Grownups", opposite Blythe Danner, his performance as Poppy being Palance's last.

Academy Award

Four decades after his film debut, Palance won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor on March 30, 1992, for his performance as cowboy Curly Washburn in the 1991 comedy "City Slickers". Stepping onstage to accept the award, the intimidatingly fit 6' 4" (1.93 m) actor looked down at 5' 7" (1.70 m) Oscar host Billy Crystal (who was also his co-star in the movie), and joked — mimicking one of his lines from the film — "Billy Crystal... I crap bigger than him." He then dropped to the floor and demonstrated his ability, at age 73, to perform one-handed push-ups. Crystal then turned this into a running gag. At various points in the broadcast, he announced that Palance was backstage on the Stairmaster; had "just bungee-jumped off the Hollywood sign"; had rendezvoused with the Space Shuttle in orbit; had fathered all the children in a production number; had been named "People" magazine's Sexiest Man Alive; and had won the New York primary election. At the end of the broadcast, Crystal told everyone he'd like to see them again "but I've just been informed Jack Palance will be hosting next year." (The following year, host Crystal arrived on stage atop a giant model of the Oscar statuette, being towed by Palance using his teeth.)

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Palance has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6608 Hollywood Boulevard. In 1992, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Ukrainian, not Russian

Palance, at the time chairman of the Hollywood Trident Foundation, walked out of a Russian Film Festival in Hollywood. After being introduced, Palance said "I feel like I walked into the wrong room by mistake. I think that Russian film is interesting, but I have nothing to do with Russia or Russian film. My parents were born in Ukraine: I'm Ukrainian. I'm not Russian. So, excuse me, but I don't belong here. It's best if we leave." [ [http://www.ukemonde.com/palance/russianfilmfest.html Declaring 'I'm Ukrainian, not Russian', Palance walks out of Russian Film Festival in Hollywood ] ]

Personal life

Palance was married to his first wife, Virginia Baker, from 1949 to 1968. They had three children: Holly (born in 1950), an actress, Brooke (born in 1952) and Cody (1955–1998).

Daughter Brooke married Michael Wilding, son of Michael Wilding Sr. (1912-1979) and Elizabeth Taylor; and they have three children as well.

An actor himself, Cody Palance appeared alongside his father in the film "Young Guns", and was just 42 when he died from malignant melanoma on July 16, 1998. Jack Palance had hosted "The Cody Palance Memorial Golf Classic" to raise awareness and funds for a cancer center in Los Angeles. Besides being an actor, at one time Cody Palance was also a great music performer who did many live performances with his band. [ [http://www.hankstermania.com/Cody.htm Pics of Cody Palance performing live] ]

Palance became divorced and married Elaine Rogers in May 1987. On New Year's Day 2003, his first wife (July 7, 1922 - January 1, 2003) was struck by a car and killed in Los Angeles.

Palance painted and sold landscape art, with a poem included on the back of each picture. He is also the author of "The Forest Of Love", a book of poems, published in 1996 by Summerhouse Press.

True to his roots, Palance acknowledged a life-long attachment to his Pennsylvania heritage and visited there when able. Shortly before his death, he had placed his Butler Township, Pennsylvania, Holly-Brooke farm up for sale and his personal art collection up for auction.cite web|url=http://www.timesleader.com/mld/timesleader/15708541.htm|title=Jump on Jack’s stash|last=Learn-Andes|first=Jennifer|publisher=TimesLeader.com|accessdate=2006-10-08]


Palance died at the age of 87, of natural causes, at his home in Montecito in Santa Barbara County. [http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/Movies/11/10/palance.death/index.html Oscar winner Jack Palance dead at 87] , CNN.com. Retrieved on November 10, 2006.] He was cremated and his ashes were retained by family and friends. [ [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=16588921 FindAGrave.com] ]

Jack Palance collection auction

Following other recent celebrity auctions, Palance's personal lifetime collection of over 3,000 items at his Holly-Brooke Farm (named for his two daughters) in Butler Township, Pennsylvania went on the auction block in October 2006. Auction planners purposely included some smaller keepsakes for people who wanted something belonging to the 87-year-old actor. "People can spend $5 or $50,000 at this auction", said Phil Eagle, an antique appraiser who traveled from California to painstakingly verify the items' authenticity and sort them into manageable lots to be sold.

"Each item will bear a special sticker featuring a picture of the actor and the words 'Jack Palance Collection' to add to the value and future collectibility", Eagle said.

elected filmography


Academy award and nominations

*1952 – Nominated – Best Actor in a Supporting Role – "Sudden Fear"
*1953 – Nominated – Best Actor in a Supporting Role – "Shane"
*1991 – Won – Best Actor in a Supporting Role – "City Slickers"


External links

* [http://www.boxrec.com/record041420.html Jack Brazzo] (AKA Jack Palance) boxing record from Boxrec.com
* [http://www.JackPalancecollection.com The Jack Palance Collection.com]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6138310.stm BBC News - Western Star Jack Palance dies]
* [http://www.cnn.com/2006/SHOWBIZ/Movies/11/10/palance.death/index.html CNN News - Oscar winner Jack Palance dead at 87]
* [http://www.lauriez.com/album_heartholidays.php Jack Palance narrates 'The Night Before Christmas']
* [http://www.scvtv.com/html/jackpalancetribute042707.html "A Tribute to Jack Palance"]
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=16588921 Jack Palance (info on his death)]
* [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=10366819 Virgina Baker Palance (first wife)]
* [http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Jack-Palance/23716127879?ref=share Jack Palance Facebook Fan Page]

NAME=Palance, Jack
ALTERNATIVE NAMES=Walter Jack Palance, Vladimir Palaniuk, Володимир Паланюк (Ukrainian), Volodymyr Palanyuk
DATE OF BIRTH=February 18, 1919
PLACE OF BIRTH=Hazle Township, Pennsylvania, United States
DATE OF DEATH=November 10, 2006
PLACE OF DEATH=Montecito, California

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