Jack Palance

Jack Palance (/ˈpæləns/ PAL-əns; born Volodymyr Palahniuk (Ukrainian: Володимир Палагню́к); February 18, 1919 – November 10, 2006) was an American actor and singer. He was nominated for three Academy Awards, all for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, winning in 1992 for his role in City Slickers.

Palance was born in Lattimer Mines, Pennsylvania, the son of Anna (née Gramiak) and Ivan Palahniuk, an anthracite coal miner. His parents were Ukrainian immigrants, his father a native of Ivane Zolote in southwestern Ukraine (modern Ternopil Oblast) and his mother from the Lviv Oblast, an ethnic Pole. One of six children, he worked in coal mines during his youth before becoming a professional boxer in the late 1930s .

Fighting under the name Jack Brazzo, Palance reportedly compiled a record of 15 consecutive victories with 12 knockouts before losing a close decision to future heavyweight contender Joe Baksi in a Pier-6 brawl. Years later he recounted: “Then, I thought, you must be nuts to get your head beat in for $200.”

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.

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. He debuted on television in 1949, and this was followed a year later by his screen debut in the movie Panic in the Streets (1950). The same year he was featured in Halls of Montezuma about the United States 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 his third film role as Lester Blaine in Sudden Fear.

On November 10, 2006, Palance died of natural causes at age 87 at his daughter Holly’s home in Montecito, California.

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