Jack Palance Bio: 'Shane' Actor and Oscar Push-Ups Performer Dies

Jack PalanceJack Palance: 'Shane' bloodthirsty villain and 'City Slickers' Oscar winner dead at 87

Jack Palance, a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award winner for City Slickers, died of “natural causes” on Friday, November 10, 2006, in the affluent beach resort of Montecito in Santa Barbara County, northwest of Los Angeles. Palance (born on Feb. 18, 1919, in Lattimer Mines, Pennsylvania) was 87. (Image: Jack Palance ca. 1955.)

Shane Jack PalanceJack Palance movies: 'Shane,' 'City Slickers'

Jack Palance's film career, which spanned nearly half a century and included more than 80 titles, consisted mostly of supporting roles – often villains – in major productions and leads in minor fare. His two most important movie roles were his vicious black-hat-wearing gunslinger in George Stevens' (subversively) elegiac Western Shane (1953), fighting a duel to the death with mysterious hero Alan Ladd; and his rugged but humorous Man of the West in Ron Underwood's popular 1991 comedy City Slickers, starring Billy Crystal. (Image: Jack Palance in Shane.)

Besides Palance's City Slickers Oscar win, he received two other nominations, both also in the Best Supporting Actor category: for his Shane villain and, the previous year, for plotting with Gloria Grahame to kill Joan Crawford in David Miller's suspense melo Sudden Fear.

The gap between Palance's second and third Oscar nominations is one of the longest ever in the Academy Awards' acting categories: 38 years, tying with Helen Hayes (The Sin of Madelon Claudet, 1931-32; Airport, 1970) and Alan Arkin (The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, 1968; Little Miss Sunshine, 2006), and trailing only Henry Fonda's 41-year gap (The Grapes of Wrath, 1940; On Golden Pond, 1981).

Among Jack Palance's dozens of other movies were Douglas Sirk's Sign of the Pagan (1954), as Attila the Hun, who makes life miserable for the denizens of the Roman Empire, including Jeff Chandler; Robert Aldrich's The Big Knife (1955), as a Hollywood actor in professional trouble; Jean-Luc Godard's Contempt / Le mépris (1963), playing a Hollywood producer opposite Brigitte Bardot and Michel Piccoli; and Tim Burton's Batman, as Carl Grissom.

But really, Jack Palance will quite possibly be better remembered for his push-ups onstage at the 1992 Oscar ceremony than for any of his movie roles.

Jack Palance Shane photo: Paramount Pictures.

Jack Palance Bio: 'Shane' Actor and Oscar Push-Ups Performer Dies © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
Text NOT to be reproduced without prior written consent.

Leave a comment about 'Jack Palance Bio: 'Shane' Actor and Oscar Push-Ups Performer Dies'


Don't waste time and energy disagreeing with and/or being deeply offended by the presentation of factual information.

On the other hand, it's perfectly okay to disagree with and/or, if you're so inclined, to be deeply offended by the views & opinions (and/or likes & dislikes) found on this site. And to let us know about any omissions or, heaven forbid, errors.

Just bear in mind that *thoughtfulness* and *at least a modicum of sanity* are imperative.

In other words: Feel free to add something reasonable & coherent – AND fact-based – to the discussion.

Abusive/bigoted, trollish/inflammatory, baseless (spreading misinformation, whether intentionally or not), spammy, and/or just plain deranged comments will be zapped and offenders may be banned.

And finally, links found in comments will generally be deleted.

Most recent comments listed on top.

1 Comment to Jack Palance Bio: 'Shane' Actor and Oscar Push-Ups Performer Dies

  1. Doug Edens

    I just wish you would include more personal items about such people. Palance's spouse/spouses and/or if he had any children and so on. I always liked him on screen and on TV.