November 10, 2006

Jack Palance (1919-2006)

Legendary Western tough-guy actor Jack Palance died today at the age of 87.

Looking over Palance's filmography on IMDb, I'm surprised that for such a well-known and ubiquitous actor, I've seen very little of his work. Shane, of course (Palance's Jack Wilson is the outlaw). And I was a regular viewer of Ripley's Believe It or Not! in the early 80s. (But I never saw City Slickers. Believe it . . . or not.)

It's fitting that Palance should pass away on the day before Remembrance Day - not only was he a talented actor, but a decorated serviceman who served with the Army Air Corps in WWII. His characteristic gaunt look was the result of injuries he suffered when he bailed out of a burning B-24 on a training mission.

And who can forget his Oscar acceptance "speech" in 1992 when, at a loss for words, he just dropped to the floor and started doing one-armed push-ups? Right now, Death is nursing his wounds. Rest in peace, Jack.