Jack Palance (born February 18, 1919; died November 10, 2006), whose real name was Volodymyr Palahniuk, received a Golden Globe award in 1992 for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the comedy-western, City Slickers.
The son of Ukrainian immigrants, Palance was born in Lattimer Mines, Pennsylvania and served in the United States Army Air Force during World War II. One of six children, the young Palance worked in coal mines before becoming a professional boxer in the late 1930s under the name Jack Brazzo.
Palance got his Broadway acting break as an understudy of Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire and eventually replaced Brando on stage as Stanley Kowalski.
In an episode of the panel game show What’s My Line?, he recalled how no one could pronounce his last name and how it was suggested that he be called Palanski. He decided to use Palance instead.
Palance made his movie debut in 1950’s Panic in the Streets which was megged by his Streetcar director Elia Kazan and was billed as Walter (Jack) Palance.
This was followed by Halls of Montezuma (1951), Sudden Fear (1952) and Shane (1953) which made Palance a film star. The actor enjoyed an international film career in Europe, especially Italy in the 1970s.
Palance died of pancreatic cancer at his daughter Holly’s home in Montecito, California at age 87.