Born Vladimir Palahnuik in eastern Pennsylvania on February 18, 1919, famed actor Jack Palance enjoyed a six-decade-long acting career. In the late 1930s, Palance became a successful professional boxer, winning nearly all his contests. His boxing career was put on hold when he enlisted in the Army in 1942, but he was seriously injured in a plane crash and spent months in recovery. After his discharge, Palance briefly went home to Pennsylvania but eventually left for New York City, where his acting career took off on Broadway. Appearing in several plays throughout the late 1940s, he served as understudy to Marlon Brando in the role of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire and replaced Brando for a brief period. From the strength of Palance's performance in Streetcar, 20th Century-Fox put him under contract. For his first film, he was cast in the a plum role of the plague-infected murderer Blackie in the film noir thriller Panic in the Streets (1950; with Richard Widmark and Paul Douglas). However, he had a falling out with Fox execs following the lensing of Halls of Montezuma (1951; with Richard Widmark), and Palance went back to Broadway. But he returned to Hollywood when, based on the strength of his performance in Panic in the Streets, RKO cast him in the Joan Crawford noir vehicle Sudden Fear (1952; with Gloria Grahame). He went on to star in the noir classics The Big Knife (1955; with Ida Lupino and Shelley Winters), I Died a Thousand Times (1955; with Shelley Winters and Lori Nelson), and House of Numbers (1957; with Edward Platt).

Jack Palance

Early 1950s studio portrait of Jack Palance

He also acted in a number of westerns in such memorable films as Shane (1953; with Alan Ladd) and The Lonely Man (1957; with Anthony Perkins), in addition to several war films and dramas. After a string of high-profile Hollywood films in the 1950s, Palance's career began to slip by the end of the decade. He then went to Europe to star in a number of films, including The Barbarians (1960; with Guy Rolfe), Barabbas (1962; with Anthony Quinn), and Once a Thief (1965; with Alain Delon and Ann-Margret). Palance also started acting in horror films, such as Torture Garden (1967; with Burgess Meredith and Peter Cushing); the Dan Curtis TV movies Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1968) and Dracula (1973); and Alone in the Dark (1982; with Donald Pleasence).

the films of jack palance

Sudden Fear (1952)/h4>
Joan Crawford and Jack PalanceJack Palance and Gloria Grahame

From the excellent noir Sudden Fear, released by RKO. LEFT: With Joan Crawford as Palance's wealthy new wife. RIGHT: Palance schemes with girlfriend Gloria Grahame to murder Joan Crawford

Flight to Tangier (1953)

Jack Palance and Joan Fontaine

With Joan Fontaine in the Paramount 3-D drama Flight to Tangier

Man in the Attic (1953)

Jack Palance

From the 20th Century-Fox thriller Man in the Attic with Rhys Williams

Sign of the Pagan (1954)

Jack Palance and Ludmilla Tcherina

Palance portrays Attila the Hun in Douglas Sirk's costume drama Sign of the Pagan, released by Universal-International. LEFT: With Ludmilla Tcherina.

The Silver Chalice (1954)

Jack Palance and Virginia MayoJack Palance and Virginia Mayo

With Virginia Mayo in the Warner Bros. costume drama The Silver Chalice

The Big Knife (1955)

Jack Palance and Shelley WintersJack Palance

Palance and Shelley Winters in the United Artists noir release The Big Knife

Kiss of Fire (1955)

Barbara Rush and Jack PalanceBarbara Rush and Jack PalanceRex Reason and Jack Palance

From the Universal-International costume drama Kiss of Fire. LEFT and CENTER: With Barbara Rush. RIGHT: With Rex Reason

Beyond All Limits (1959)

Maria Felix, Jack Palance, and Jorge Martinez de Hoyos

From the Mexican-made drama Beyond All Limits with Maria Felix and Jorge Martinez de Hoyos

Kill a Dragon (1967)

Jack Palance and Aldo RayFernando Lamas and Jack Palance

From the low-budget action picture Kill a Dragon, which was lensed in Hong Kong. LEFT: With Aldo Ray. RIGHT: With Fernando Lamas

Bronk (1975)

Jack Palance

Palance is the good-guy cop who brings down a herion racket in the CBS made-for-TV-movie Bronk, which inspired a series of the same name

The Four Deuces (1976)

Carol Lynley and Jack Palance

With Carol Lynley in the action comedy The Four Deuces

God's Gun (1976)

Richard Boone, Robert Lipton, and Jack Palance

Palance in another bad-guy role in the spaghetti western God's Gun. Also pictured are Richard Boone and Robert Lipton

Angels Brigade (1979)

Jack Palance, Robin Greer, and Susan Kiger

Jack Palance starred as the evil drug dealer Mike Farrell in Greydon Clark's campy, low-budget actioner Angels' Brigade; also pictured are Robin Greer and Susan Kiger. This film once aired on Mystery Science Theater 3000 as Angels' Revenge

Tango & Cash (1989)

Jack Palance and James Hong

From the Warner Bros. actioner Tango & Cash with James Hong

later years

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Jack Palance acted in a number of 'A' and 'B' pictures; some of the low-budget gems include Angels' Brigade (1979; with Peter Lawford), Cocaine Cowboys (1979; with Andy Warhol), and Gor (1988; with Urbano Barberini). His 'A' pictures from the period include Young Guns (1988; with Emilio Estevez and Kiefer Sutherland) and Batman (1989; with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson). The release of the comedy City Slickers (1991; with Billy Crystal) rejuvenated Palance's popularity among moviegoers and brought him many new fans. His final film was the made-for-TV release Back When We Were Grownups (2004; with Blythe Danner, Faye Dunaway, and Peter Fonda).

Palance married actress Virginia Baker in 1949, and before divorcing in 1968, the couple had three children: actresses Holly Palance and Brooke Palance, and actor Cody Palance, who died in 1998 at the age of 42. Holly Palance co-hosted with her father on the ABC TV series Ripley's Believe It or Not!, and Cody Palance acted with his father in God's Guns (1976) and Angels' Brigade (1979). Sadly, Jack Palance passed away from natural causes on November 10, 2006, at the age of 87. He was survived by his second wife Elaine, his two daughters, and three grandchildren.

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Back When We Were Grownups (2004) with Blythe Danner, Faye Dunaway, Peter Fonda, Ione Skye, and Nina Foch
Prancer Returns (2001) with John Corbett
Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter's End (1999) with Glenn Close and Christopher Walken
Treasure Island (1999)
Marco Polo (1998) with Don Diamont and Oliver Reed
I'll Be Home for Christmas (1997) with Ann Jillian and Robert Hays
Ebenezer (1997) with Rick Schroder and Amy Locane
Buffalo Girls (1995) with Anjelica Huston, Melanie Griffith, Gabriel Byrne, Peter Coyote, Reba McEntire, and Sam Elliott
The Swan Princess (1994) with John Cleese, Steven Wright, and Sandy Duncan
City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994) with Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Jon Lovitz, Patricia Wettig, Bill McKinney, Josh Mostel, and Jayne Meadows
Twilight Zone: Rod Serling's Lost Classics (1994) with Amy Irving, Gary Cole, Patrick Bergin, and Priscilla Pointer
Cops and Robbersons (1994) with Chevy Chase, Dianne Wiest, and Robert Davi
Cyborg 2 (1993) with Elias Koteas, Angelina Jolie, and Billy Drago
Keep the Change (1992) with William L. Petersen, Lolita Davidovich, and Buck Henry
Eli's Lesson (1992)
City Slickers (1991) with Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Bruno Kirby, Patricia Wettig, Helen Slater, Josh Mostel, and Jeffrey Tambor
Solar Crisis (1990) with Tim Matheson, Charlton Heston, and Peter Boyle
Tango & Cash (1989) with Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Teri Hatcher, James Hong, Michael J. Pollard, Robert Z'Dar, and Lewis Arquette
Outlaw of Gor (1989) with Urbano Barberini, Rebecca Ferratti, Donna Denton, and Russel Savadier; this film once aired on Mystery Science Theater 3000
Batman (1989) with Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl, Pat Hingle, Billy Dee Williams, and Jerry Hall
Young Guns (1988) with Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen, Dermot Mulroney, Terence Stamp, Brian Keith, and Patrick Wayne
Gor (1988) with Urbano Barberini, Rebecca Ferratti, Oliver Reed, and Donna Denton
Bagdad Cafe (1987) with CCH Pounder
Alone in the Dark (1982) with Donald Pleasence and Martin Landau
Tales of the Haunted (1981) with Christopher Lee
Without Warning (1980) with Martin Landau, Sue Ane Langdon, Neville Brand, Cameron Mitchell, Darby Hinton, David Caruso, Larry Storch, and Ralph Meeker; directed by Greydon Clark
The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story (1980) with Stephanie Zimbalist, David Keith, Victor French, Merlin Olsen, Ed McMahon, Salome Jens, Nancy Marchand, and James Earl Jones
The Ivory Ape (1980) with Steven Keats and Cindy Pickett
Hawk the Slayer (1980) with Morgan Sheppard and Patricia Quinn
The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang (1979) with Cliff Potts, Randy Quaid, Larry Wilcox, Sharon Farrell, Royal Dano, John Karlen, and Bo Hopkins
The Shape of Things to Come (1979) with Carol Lynley and John Ireland
Angels Brigade (1979) with Peter Lawford, Jim Backus, Neville Brand, Pat Buttram, Alan Hale Jr., Darby Hinton, and Susan Kiger; this film once aired on Mystery Science Theater 3000 as Angels Revenge and was directed by Greydon Clark
Cocaine Cowboys (1979) with Tom Sullivan and Andy Warhol
The One Man Jury (1978)
Welcome to Blood City (1977) with Keir Dullea, Samantha Eggar, Barry Morse, and Hollis McLaren
Portrait of a Hitman (1977) with Bo Svenson, Herb Jeffries, Richard Roundtree, Rod Steiger, and Ann Turkel
Mister Scarface (1976)
God's Gun (1976) with Lee Van Cleef, Richard Boone, Sybil Danning, Leif Garrett, and Robert Lipton
The Four Deuces (1976) with Carol Lynley, Warren Berlinger, and Adam Roarke
Safari Express (1976) with Giuliano Gemma and Ursula Andress
Bloody Avenger (1976) with George Eastman
The Cop in Blue Jeans (1976)
Black Cobra Woman (1976) with Laura Gemser
The Sensuous Nurse (1975) with Ursula Andress, Daniele Vargas, and Luciana Paluzzi
The Great Adventure (1975) with Joan Collins
The Hatfields and the McCoys (1975) with Steve Forrest, Richard Hatch, James Keach, Robert Carradine, Gerrit Graham, Joan Caulfield, and Joe Estevez
Africa Express (1975) with Giuliano Gemma and Ursula Andress
Bronk (1975) with David Birney and Joanna Moore
The Godchild (1974) with Jack Warden, Keith Carradine, and Bill McKinney
Oklahoma Crude (1973) with George C. Scott, Faye Dunaway, John Mills, and Rafael Campos
Brothers Blue (1973) with Tina Aumont
Craze (1973) with Diana Dors, Julie Ege, Edith Evans, Hugh Griffith, Trevor Howard, and Suzy Kendall
Dracula (1973) with Simon Ward, Nigel Davenport, Pamela Brown, and Fiona Lewis
Chato's Land (1972) with Charles Bronson, Richard Basehart, James Whitmore, Simon Oakland, Ralph Waite, Victor French, and Lee Patterson
It Can Be Done Amigo (1972) with Bud Spencer
Sting of the West (1972) with Lionel Stander
The Horsemen (1971) with Omar Sharif, Tom Tryon, and Leigh Taylor-Young
Companeros (1970) with Franco Nero, Tomas Milian, and Fernando Rey
Monte Walsh (1970) with Lee Marvin, Jeanne Moreau, Mitch Ryan, Jim Davis, Michael Conrad, and Bo Hopkins
The McMasters (1970) with Burl Ives, Brock Peters, David Carradine, Nancy Kwan, John Carradine, L.Q. Jones, R.G. Armstrong, and Dane Clark
Battle of the Commandos (1969)
Che! (1969) with Omar Sharif, Cesare Danova, Robert Loggia, Woody Strode, and Barbara Luna
The Desperados (1969) with Vince Edwards, Sylvia Syms, George Maharis, Kate O'Mara, Christopher Malcolm, and Neville Brand
Justine (1969) with Klaus Kinski, Akim Tamiroff, Mercedes McCambridge, Horst Frank, Sylva Koscina, and Rosalba Neri
Hell's Brigade: The Final Assault (1969)
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1968) with Denholm Elliott
They Came to Rob Las Vegas (1968) with Gary Lockwood, Elke Sommer, and Lee J. Cobb
A Professional Gun (1968) with Franco Nero and Tony Musante
Kill a Dragon (1967) with Fernando Lamas and Aldo Ray
Torture Garden (1967) with Burgess Meredith, Beverly Adams, Peter Cushing, and Robert Hutton
Alice Through the Looking Glass (1966) with Richard Denning, Jimmy Durante, Nanette Fabray, Ricardo Montalban, Agnes Moorehead, Tom Smothers, and Dick Smothers
The Professionals (1966) with Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode, Claudia Cardinale, and Ralph Bellamy
The Spy in the Green Hat (1966) with Robert Vaughn, David McCallum, Janet Leigh, Jack La Rue, Leo G. Carroll, and Joan Blondell
Once a Thief (1965) with Alain Delon, Ann-Margret, Van Heflin, Jeff Corey, and Tony Musante
Contempt (1963) with Brigitte Bardot, Giorgia Moll, and Fritz Lang
Night Train to Milan (1963) with Yvonne Furneaux
Warriors Five (1962)
Barabbas (1962) with Anthony Quinn, Silvana Mangano, Arthur Kennedy, Katy Jurado, Vittorio Gassman, and Ernest Borgnine
Sword of the Conqueror (1962) with Guy Madison
The Last Judgment (1961) with Vittorio Gassman, Anouk Aimee, Silvana Mangano, Melina Mercouri, and Vittorio De Sica
The Mongols (1961) with Anita Ekberg
The Barbarians (1960) with Guy Rolfe
The Battle of Austerlitz (1960) with Rossano Brazzi, Claudia Cardinale, Leslie Caron, Vittorio De Sica, and Georges Marchal
Beyond All Limits (1959) with Maria Felix and Pedro Armendariz
Ten Seconds to Hell (1959) with Jeff Chandler, Martine Carol, Robert Cornthwaite, and Wesley Addy
The Man Inside (1958) with Anita Ekberg, Nigel Patrick, Anthony Newley, and Donald Pleasence
House of Numbers (1957) with Edward Platt
The Lonely Man (1957) with Anthony Perkins, Neville Brand, Robert Middleton, Elisha Cook Jr., Claude Akins, Lee Van Cleef, and Denver Pyle
Attack! (1956) with Eddie Albert, Lee Marvin, Richard Jaeckel, and Buddy Ebsen
I Died a Thousand Times (1955) with Shelley Winters, Lori Nelson, Lee Marvin, Pedro Gonzales-Gonzales, Lon Chaney Jr., Earl Holliman, and Richard Davalos
The Big Knife (1955) with Ida Lupino, Wendell Corey, Jean Hagen, Rod Steiger, Shelley Winters, Ilka Chase, Everett Sloane, and Wesley Addy
Kiss of Fire (1955) with Barbara Rush, Rex Reason, and Martha Hyer
The Silver Chalice (1954) with Virginia Mayo, Pier Angelim Paul Newman, Lorne Greene, E.G. Marshall, and Natalie Wood
Sign of the Pagan (1954) with Jeff Chandler, Rita Gam, Jeff Morrow, Allison Hayes, George Dolenz
Man in the Attic (1953) with Constance Smith, Byron Palmer, and Frances Bavier
Flight to Tangier (1953) with Joan Fontaine, Corinne Calvet, and Jeff Morrow
Arrowhead (1953) with Charlton Heston, Katy Jurado, and Brian Keith
Second Chance (1953) with Robert Mitchum and Linda Darnell
Shane (1953) with Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin, Brandon De Wilde, Ben Johnson, Edgar Buchanan, Elisha Cook Jr., and Ellen Corby
Sudden Fear (1952) with Joan Crawford, Gloria Grahame, Bruce Bennett, and Mike Connors
Halls of Montezuma (1951) with Richard Widmark, Robert Wagner, Karl Malden, Richard Boone, Jack Webb, Neville Brand, and Martin Milner
Panic in the Streets (1950) with Richard Widmark, Paul Douglas, Barbara Bel Geddes, and Zero Mostel

Ripley's Believe It or Not!, 1982-1986 ABC TV series. Palance served as host
Bronk, 1975-1976 CBS TV series. Palance portrayed Lt. Alex Bronkov
The Greatest Show on Earth, 1963-1964 ABC TV series. Palance portrayed Johnny Slate

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Watch Jack Palance's 1953 noir thriller Man in the Attic
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This page premiered January 30, 2006.
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