Palance, (Walter) Jack 1920-

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PALANCE, (Walter) Jack 1920-

(Walter Jack Palance; Walter Palance)


Original name, Walter Jack Palahnuik (some sources cite Vladimir Palahnuik, Walter Pelanskie, or other variations); born February 18, 1920 (some sources cite 1919 or 1921), in Lattimer (some sources cite Lattimer Mines), PA; son of John (a coal miner) and Anna (Gramiak) Palahnuik; brother of Leon Palahnuik (an actor); married Virginia Baker (an actress and filmmaker), April 21, 1949 (divorced, 1969); married Elaine Rochelle Rogers, May 6, 1987 (divorced); children: (first marriage) Holly Kathleen (an actress and screenwriter), Brook Gabrielle, Cody John (deceased). Education: Attended the University of North Carolina; Stanford University, graduated, 1947.


Agent—William Morris Agency, 151 El Camino Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212.


Actor. Actor in films, including (under the name Walter Jack Palance; as Blackie) Panic in the Streets, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1950; (under the name Walter Jack Palance, as Pigeon Lane) The Halls of Montezuma, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1950; (as Lester Blaine) Sudden Fear, RKO Radio Pictures, 1952; (as Cappy Gordon) Second Chance, RKO Radio Pictures, 1953; (as Gil Walker) Flight to Tangier, Paramount, 1953; (as Slade) Man in the Attic, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1953; (under the name Walter Jack Palance; as Stark Wilson) Shane, Paramount, 1953; (as Toriano) Arrowhead, Paramount, 1953; (as Attila the Hun) Sign of the Pagan, Universal, 1954; (as Charles Castle) The Big Knife, United Artists, 1955; (as El Tigre) Kiss of Fire, Universal, 1955; (as Roy Earle) I Died a Thousand Times, Warner Bros., 1955; (as Simon Magus) The Silver Chalice, Warner Bros., 1955; (as Arnie Judlow and Bill Judlow) The House of Numbers, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1957; (as Jacob Wade) The Lonely Man, Paramount, 1957; (as Jim Gatsby) Beyond All Limits (also known as Flowers of Mayo), 1957; (as Lieutenant Joe Costa of Fox Company) Attack!, United Artists, 1958; (as Milo March) The Man Inside, Columbia, 1958; (as Erik Koertner) Ten Seconds to Hell (also known as The Phoenix), United Artists, 1959; (as General Weirother) Austerlitz (also known as The Battle of Austerlitz), Lux, 1960; Treno di Natale, 1960; (as Alboino) Sword of the Conqueror, United Artists, 1961; (as Matteoni) The Last Judgement, 1961; (as Ogotai) The Mongols, Colorama, 1961; (as Jack) Warriors Five, American International, 1962; (as Torvald) Barabbas (also known as Barabba), Columbia, 1962; (as himself) Begegnung mit Fritz Lang, 1963; (as Jeremy Prokosch) Contempt, Embassy, 1963; Il Criminale, 1963; (as himself) Paparazzi, 1964; (as Walter Pedak) Once a Thief, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1965; (as Captain Jesus Raza) The Professionals, Columbia, 1966; (as Louis Strago) The Spy in the Green Hat, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1966; (as Rick) Kill a Dragon, United Artists, 1967; (as Ronald Wyatt) The Torture Garden, Columbia, 1967; (as Antonin) Deadly Sanctuary (also known as Justine, Justine and Juliet, and Marquis de Sade: Justine), American International, 1968; (as himself) Flash 30, 1968; (as Colonel Charley MacPherson) Legion of the Damned (also known as Battle of the Commandos), 1969; (as Douglas) They Came to Rob Las Vegas (also known as Our Man in Las Vegas and Las Vegas), Warner Bros./Seven Arts, 1969; (as Fidel Castro) Che!, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1969; (as Major John Heston) Hell's Brigade (also known as Attack Force Normandy, A Bullet for Rommel, The Fall of the Giants, and Hell's Brigade: The Final Assault), 1969; (as Parson Josiah Galt) The Desperados, Columbia, 1969; (as Chet Rollins) Monte Walsh, National General, 1970; (as Kolby) The McMasters (also known as The Blood Crowd), Chevron, 1970; (as Ricciolo [Curly]) The Mercenary: A Professional Gun (also known as Revenge of a Gunfighter), United Artists, 1970; (as Xantos [some sources cite John]) Companeros, Tritone Filmindustria/Atlantida Film/TerraFilmkunst, 1970; (as Tursen) The Horsemen, Columbia, 1971; (as Captain Quincey Whitmore) Chato's Land, United Artists, 1972; (as narrator) And So Ends, 1972; (as Santini) Con Men (also known as Father Jackleg, Sting of the West, and Te Deum), Tecisa, 1972; (as Sonny Bronston) The Big and the Bad (also known as Bulldozer Is Back Amigo, Can Be Done, Amigo, It Can Be Done, Amigo, and Saddle Tramps), Atlantida, 1972; The Getaway, National General, 1972; (as Hellman) Oklahoma Crude, Columbia, 1973; Brothers Blue (also known as The Short and Happy Life of Brothers Blue), 1973; Imagine, 1973; (as Neal Mottram) Craze (also known as Demon Master and The Infernal Idol), Warner Bros., 1974; (as Robert Preston/William Hunter) Africa Express (also known as Tropical Express), 1975; (as Vic Morono) The Four Deuces, Avco-Embassy, 1975; The Great Adventure (also known as The Cry of the Wolf), Pacific, 1975; (as Judas Carmichael) Eva Nera (also known as Black Cobra, Emmanuelle Goes Japanese, Erotic Eva, and Hot Pants), 1976; (as Mr. Kitch) I Will If You Will (also known as The Nurse, The Secrets of a Sensuous Nurse, and The Sensuous Nurse), 1976; (as Richard J. Russo [Mr. Shelly]) Squadra antiscippo (also known as The Cop in Blue Jeans), 1976; (as Van Daalen) Safari Express, 1976; (as Sam Clayton) A Bullet from God (also known as God's Gun), 1976; Irwin Yablans, 1978; Bloody Avenger (also known as For a Silver Dollar, Knell, the Bloody Avenger, and Policeman's Blood), 1976, Trimark Home Video, 1980; (as Jim Buck) Portrait of a Hitman (also known as Jim Buck and The Last Contract), 1977; (as Scarface) Mister Scarface (also known as The Big Boss, Blood and Bullets, and Rulers of the City), 1977; (as Sheriff Friedlander) Welcome to Blood City (also known as Blood City), 1977; (as host) Unknown Powers, 1978; (as Wade) One Man Jury (also known as Dead on Arrival), Cal Am Artists, 1978; (as Farrell) Seven from Heaven (also known as Angels' Brigade and Angels Revenge), Arista, 1979; (as Omus [some sources cite Omun]) The Shape of Things to Come (also known as H. G. Wells' "The Shape of Things to Come"), Film Ventures, 1979; (as Raf) Cocaine Cowboys, International Harmony, 1979; (as Joe Taylor) Without Warning (also known as Alien Warning, It Came … without Warning, and The Warning), Filmways, 1980; Killer Force (also known as The Diamond Mercenaries), American International, 1980; Ladyfingers, 1980; (as Voltan) Hawk the Slayer, ITC, 1981; (as Frank Hawkes) Alone in the Dark, New Line Cinema, 1982; (as himself) George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey (documentary), Castle Hill, 1985; (as Xenos) Gor, Cannon, 1987; The Black Cobra, Video Gems, 1987; (as Rudi Cox) Out of Rosenheim, Futura/Filmvorlag der Autoren, 1987, released in the United States as Bagdad Cafe, Island, 1988; (as Lawrence G. Murphy) Young Guns, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1988; (as Carl Grissom) Batman, Warner Bros., 1989; (as Xenos) Outlaw of Gor (also known as The Outlaw), Warner Home Video, 1989; (as Yves Perret) Tango and Cash, Warner Bros., 1989; (as Travis) Solar Crisis (also known as Crisis 2050 and Starfire), Vidmark Entertainment, 1990; (as Curly Washburn) City Slickers, Columbia, 1991; Salmonberries, Facets Multimedia, 1991; (as Mercy) Cyborg 2: Glass Shadow, Trimark, 1993; (as Duke Washburn) City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (also known as City Slickers: The Legend of Curly's Gold), Columbia, 1994; (as Jake Stone) Cops and Robbersons, TriStar, 1994; (as voice of Lord Rothbart) The Swan Princess (animated), New Line Cinema, 1994; (as narrator) War Games, 1996; (as Beelzebub) Marco Polo (also known as The Incredible Adventures of Marco Polo and Marco Polo: Return to Xanadu), Avalanche Home Entertainment, 1998; (as Long John Silver) Treasure Island, Columbia/TriStar, 1999; (in archive footage) Joe D'Amato Totally Uncut, Media-Word, 1999; Cast and Crew, TVI's Productions, 1999; (as Old Man Richards) Prancer Returns, 2001; and Searching for Bobby De Niro, 2004.

Actor in television movies, including (as Dr. Henry Jekyll/Mr. Edward Hyde) The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (also known as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), American Broadcasting Companies (ABC), 1968; (as title role) Dracula (also known as Bram Stoker's Dracula), Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), 1974; (as Rourke) The Godchild, National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 1974; (as Devil Anse Hatfield) The Hatfields and the McCoys, ABC, 1975; (as Will Smith) The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang, NBC, 1979; (as Marc Kazarian) The Ivory Ape (also known as Animal Attraction), ABC, 1980; (as Overstreet) Keep the Change, Turner Network Television (TNT), 1992; (as Dr. Jeremy Wheaton) "Where the Dead Are," Twilight Zone: Rod Serling's Lost Classics, CBS, 1994; (as Bob Greiser) I'll Be Home for Christmas, CBS, 1997; (as Ebenezer and Future Scrooge) Ebenezer, 1997; (as Old Man Richards) Prancer Returns, USA Network, 2001; and (as "Poppy" Davitch) Back When We Were Grownups, 2004.

Actor in television miniseries, including (as Whitey Robinson) The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story, NBC, 1980; The Chisholms, CBS, 1980; (as Bartle Bone) Buffalo Girls, CBS, 1995; and (as Allan Van Praagh) Living with the Dead, CBS, 2002. Actor in television series, including (as Johnny Slate) The Greatest Show on Earth, ABC, 1963-1964; (as Lieutenant Alex "Bronk" Bronkov) Bronk, CBS, 1975-1976; (as host) Ripley's Believe It or Not, ABC, 1982-1986. Appeared in television specials, including Texaco Command Performance, NBC, 1957; (as Jabberwock) Alice through the Looking Glass, NBC, 1966; Rickles, CBS, 1975; The Love Boat Fall Preview Party, ABC, 1984; Night of 100 Stars II (also known as Night of One Hundred Stars), ABC, 1985; (as host) Legends of the West with Jack Palance, syndicated, 1992; (as narrator) When It Was a Game 2, Home Box Office (HBO), 1992; "Rod Serling: Submitted for Your Approval," American Masters, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 1995; (as host and narrator) Monster Mania, American Movie Classics, 1997; (as John Witting) "Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter's End," Hallmark Hall of Fame, CBS, 1999; (as narrator) The Omen Legacy, American Movie Classics, 2001; and (in archive footage) Images of Indians: How Hollywood Stereotyped the Native American, 2003. Appeared in television pilots, including (as title role) Rivak the Barbarian (also known as The Barbarians and Revak), NBC, 1960; (as Lieutenant Alex "Bronk" Bronkov) Bronk, CBS, 1975; and (as host, with Holly Palance) Ripley's Believe It or Not, ABC, 1981.

Appeared in episodes of television series, including "Street Gang," Hands of Murder, The DuMont Network, 1949; "The Man Who Couldn't Remember," Lights Out, NBC, 1950; (under the name Walter Palance) "The King in Yellow," Studio One, CBS, 1951; "Little Man, Big World," Studio One, CBS, 1952; "Necktie Party," Gulf Playhouse, NBC, 1952; Curtain Call, NBC, 1952; Your Show of Shows, NBC, 1952; "Cagliostro and the Chess Player" and "The Kissoff," Suspense, CBS, 1953; "The Last Chance," The Web, CBS, 1953; Suspense, CBS, 1953; (as mystery guest) What's My Line?, CBS, 1955; The Ed Sullivan Show (also known as Toast of the Town), CBS, 1955; (as Dan Morgan) "The Lariat," Zane Grey Theater, CBS, 1956; (as Harlan "Mountain" McClintock) "Requiem for a Heavyweight," Playhouse 90, CBS, 1956; (as Monroe Stahr) "The Last Tycoon," Playhouse 90, CBS, 1957; "The Death of Manolete," Playhouse 90, CBS, 1957; The Perry Como Show, NBC, 1957; (as Dan Morgan) "Lariat," Frontier Justice, CBS, 1958; (as Harvey Bell) "The Many Colors of Courage," Convoy, NBC, 1965; (as himself) Password, CBS, 1965; "The Concrete Overcoat Affair," The Man from U.N.C.L.E., NBC, 1966; "I Am the Late Diana Hays," Run for Your Life, NBC, 1966; (as himself) The Carol Burnett Show, CBS, 1968; "The Trail of Tears," N.E.T. Playhouse, PBS, 1970; "Biography," N.E.T. Playhouse, PBS, 1971; (as himself) The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour, CBS, 1973; (as himself) The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, NBC, multiple episodes, between 1973 and 1992; (as Kaleel) "Planet of the Slave Girls," Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, NBC, 1979; (as Richard Stokes) "Evil Stalks This House," Tales of the Haunted, syndicated, 1981; (as himself) Dame Edna's Hollywood, NBC, 1991; and (as Jake Jennings) "Bitter Harvest," Night Visions, Fox, 2001. Also appeared in episodes of other series, including Danger, CBS; The Hollywood Squares, NBC and syndicated; and Motorola TV Hour, CBS.

Appeared at televised awards presentations, including The Sixth Annual American Comedy Awards, ABC, 1992; The 64th Annual Academy Awards Presentation, ABC, 1992; (as presenter) The 65th Annual Academy Awards Presentation, ABC, 1993; The Seventh Annual American Comedy Awards, ABC, 1993; The 70th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1998; and The 75th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 2003. Executive producer of the television special Legends of the West with Jack Palance, syndicated, 1992. Directed an episode of The Greatest Show on Earth, ABC.

Actor in stage productions, including (as Russian soldier) The Big Two, Broadway production, 1947; (as Stanley Kowalski and understudy for the role) AStreetcar Named Desire, Broadway production, 1948; Temporary Island, 1948; The Silver Tassle, off-Broadway production, 1949; Darkness at Noon, Broadway production, c. 1950; The Tempest, 1955; (as King of Siam) The King and I, Anaheim, CA, 1965; (as Hell's Angel) The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, 1984; Night of 100 Stars II (also known as Night of One Hundred Stars), Radio City Music Hall, New York, NY, 1985; (as Simon Peter) The Vigil; My Indian Family, California production; also appeared in Julius Caesar. Toured U.S. cities as a Russian soldier in The Big Two and as the understudy for the role of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. Recorded the album Palance, Warner Bros., 1970. San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco, CA, journalist, c. 1947-1949.


Hollywood Trident Network.


Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 1952, for Sudden Fear, and 1953, for Shane; Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 1992, for City Slickers.


The Forest of Love (poems), Summerhouse Press, 1996.


A novel about coal mining.


Actor Jack Palance is best known for playing hard-bitten men, cowboys, soldiers, and killers. His first two nominations for the Oscar for best supporting actor came for playing such roles, as a villainous gunslinger in the 1952 Western Shane and as a potential murderer in the 1953 thriller Sudden Fear. To more modern audiences, Palance is best known as the taciturn cowboy Curly from the 1991 comedy City Slickers, the role which won him his first Oscar. Palance's performance at the 1992 Oscar awards, which included several much commented upon one-armed push-ups, only served to cement the public's view of Palance as a tough guy extraordinaire.

Because of this image, many people were stunned when Palance published a book of love poetry in 1996. But Palance has always been interested in writing. He originally went to college to study journalism, and throughout his adult life he has written poems and stories that he has not tried to publish. "I have enough material for another four or five books," he told Calgary Sun interviewer Louis B. Hobson. And as for his choice of subject matter, Palance told Hobson, "It's a story in blank verse about a man, a woman, and a forest. It's a love story. What other kind of stories are there to tell?"



International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 3: Actors and Actresses, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.


Calgary Sun (Calgary, Alberta, Canada), May 21, 1997, Tyler McLeod, "Wild Jack"; July 4, 1997, Louis B. Hobson, "Jack of All Parades"; December 7, 1997, Tyler McLeod, "Premiere Sparkles."

Cincinnati Post (Cincinnati, OH), February 10, 1997, "A Conversation with … Jack Palance," p. 10A.

Current Biography, August, 1992, "Palance, Jack," pp. 38-41.

Denver Post, October 28, 1997, Bill Husted, "Palance Finds Film Fest Volunteer an Able Trail Boss," p. A-02.

Edmonton Sun (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), October 10, 2000, Steve Tilley, "Jack Palance Visit Cancelled."

Entertainment Weekly, November 11, 1994, Cindy Pearlman, review of The Swan Princess, p. 16.

Journal Record (Oklahoma City, OK), April 24, 2002, Joan Gilmore, "Western Heritage Awards Dinner Held."

Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, February 5, 1997, Doug Nye, interview with Palance, p. 205K1349; October 23, 2003, "CBS Grownup Cast Oscar Material," p. K4581.

Maclean's, June 24, 1991, Brian D. Johnson, review of City Slickers, p. 48.

New Republic, June 17, 1991, Stanley Kauffmann, review of City Slickers, p. 28.

New York Times, July 21, 1991, Douglas Martin, "Jack Palance, Living the Western," p. H17.

People, April 25, 1983, Gail Buchalter, "Ripley's Believe It or Not Has Its Very Own Palancing Act: Jack and Daughter Holly," pp. 99-100; June 17, 1991, Ralph Novak, review of City Slickers, pp. 15-16; April 13, 1992, "Palancing Act," p. 61.

Premiere, July, 1994, Anthony Reilly, "Off Palance," pp. 78-79.

Record (Bergen County, NJ), January 31, 1997, Antoinette Rainone, review of The Forest of Love, p. 9.

Rocky Mountain News (Denver, CO), October 26, 1997, Robert Denerstein, "Palance Doesn't Dwell on His Laurels," p. 6D.

Sports Illustrated, April 13, 1992, Jon Scher, "Awarded: To Erstwhile Professional Boxer Jack Palance, the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for His Role in City Slickers," p. 96; June 29, 1992, "Repeated: By Academy Award-winning actor Jack Palance, 72, His Oscar-Night One-Handed Push-Up Performance, in Front of the Senate Select Committee on Aging," p. 70.

Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), November 19, 1999, Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seits, "All TV: Back to the Real Jack Palance," p. 87; November 21, 1999, "Kinder, Gentler Tough Guy," p. 8.

Time, December 16, 1996, Belinda Luscombe, review of The Forest of Love, p. 87.

USA Today, December 2, 1999, Arlene Vigoda, "Jack Palance Shows He's Versed in Romantic Lines."

Washington Post, April 25, 1997, Phil McCombs, "'Bad' Jack, for Goodness' Sake," p. G5.


Canoe, (November 24, 2003), "Jam! Movies: Jack Palance."

Coal Region of Pennsylvania, (November 24, 2003), "Famous Coal Crackers: Jack Palance."

Internet Movie Database, (May 24, 2004), "Jack Palance."*