Jack Palance

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Jack Palance
Palance in 1954
Volodymyr Ivanovich Palahniuk

(1919-02-18)February 18, 1919
DiedNovember 10, 2006(2006-11-10) (aged 87)
Other names
  • Jack Brazzo
  • Walter Palance
  • Walter J. Palance
  • Walter Jack Palance
Years active1947–2004
  • Virginia Baker
    (m. 1949; div. 1968)
  • Elaine Rogers
    (m. 1987)
Children3; including Holly
Military career
Allegiance United States
Years of service1942–1944
Rank2nd Lieutenant

Walter Jack Palance[1] (/ˈpæləns/ PAL-əns; born Volodymyr Ivanovich Palahniuk (Ukrainian: Володимир Іванович Палагню́к); February 18, 1919 – November 10, 2006) was an American screen and stage actor, known to film audiences for playing tough guys and villains. He was nominated for three Academy Awards, all for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, for his roles in Sudden Fear (1952) and Shane (1953), and winning almost 40 years later for City Slickers (1991).

Born in Lattimer Mines, Pennsylvania, the son of Ukrainian immigrants, Palance served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. He attended Stanford University before pursuing a career in the theatre, winning a Theatre World Award in 1951. He made his film acting debut in Elia Kazan's Panic in the Streets (1950), and earned Oscar nominations for Sudden Fear and Shane, his third and fourth-ever film roles. He also won an Emmy Award for a 1957 teleplay Requiem for a Heavyweight.

Subsequently, Palance played a variety of both supporting and leading film roles, often appearing in crime dramas and Westerns. Beginning in the late 1950s, he would work extensively in Europe, notably in a memorable turn as a charismatic-but-corrupting Hollywood mogul in Jean-Luc Godard's 1963 film Contempt. He played the title character in the 1973 television film Bram Stoker's Dracula, which influenced future depictions of the character. During the 1980s, he became familiar to a new generation of audiences by hosting the television series Ripley's Believe It or Not! (1982-86). His newfound popularity spurred a late-career revival, and he played high-profile villain roles in the blockbusters Young Guns (1988) and Tango & Cash (1989), and culminating in his Oscar and Golden Globe-winning turn as Curly in City Slickers.

Off-screen, he was involved in efforts in support of the Ukrainian American community and served as a chairman of the Hollywood Trident Foundation. He continued to act in films until his death from cancer in 2006, at the age of 87.

Early life


Palance was born Volodymyr Palahniuk on February 18, 1919,[2] in Lattimer Mines, Pennsylvania, the son of Anna (née Gramiak) and Ivan Palahniuk, an anthracite coal miner.[3] His parents were Ukrainian Catholic immigrants,[3][4] his father a native of Ivane-Zolote in southwestern Ukraine (modern Ternopil Oblast) and his mother from the Lviv Oblast.[5][6] One of six children, he worked in coal mines during his youth before becoming a professional boxer in the late 1930s.[7]

Boxing under the name Jack Brazzo, Palahniuk lost his only recorded match, in a four-round decision on points, to future heavyweight contender Joe Baksi in a Pier-6 brawl rough fight.[8][9][10] Other sources record cite him winning 15 consecutive club fights, with 12 knockouts.[1][7][11] Years later he recounted: "Then I thought, 'You must be nuts to get your head beat in for $200.' The theater seemed a lot more appealing."[12]

World War II


Palance enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II, and was trained as the pilot of a B-24 Liberator bomber.[1] He suffered head injuries and burns during a 1943 crash, with various sources citing it as a patrol off the coast of California,[13] or a training flight near Tucson, Arizona (at what is now Davis–Monthan Air Force Base).[1][14] He was discharged in 1944 after undergoing reconstructive surgery, which contributed to his distinctively gaunt appearance.[1]

According to some sources he was awarded a Purple Heart,[7] though he does not appear on official rolls for the decoration.



Palance won a football scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill but left after two years, disgusted by commercialization of the sport.[15]

After the war, Palance enrolled at Stanford to study journalism, but switched to drama.[16] He left one credit shy of graduating in order to pursue a career in the theatre.[17] During his university years, he worked as a short order cook, waiter, soda jerk, lifeguard at Jones Beach State Park, and a photographer's model.[citation needed]

It was around this time that he changed his name to Walter Jack Palance, reasoning that most people couldn't pronounce his birth name. His last name was actually a derivative of his original name. In an episode of What's My Line?, he described how no one could pronounce his last name, and how it was suggested that he be called Palanski. From that he decided just to use Palance instead.[18]

Early acting career


A Streetcar Named Desire


In New York, Palance studied method acting under Michael Chekhov,[19] while working as a sportswriter. He made his Broadway debut in 1947 as a Russian soldier in The Big Two, directed by Robert Montgomery.[20]

Palance acting break came as Marlon Brando's understudy in A Streetcar Named Desire, and he eventually replaced Brando on stage as Stanley Kowalski. (Anthony Quinn, however, gained the opportunity to tour the play.)[21]

Palance appeared in two plays in 1948 with short runs, A Temporary Island and The Vigil. He made his television debut in 1949.[22]

Film career


Palance made his big-screen debut in Panic in the Streets (1950), directed by Elia Kazan, who had directed Streetcar on Broadway. He played a gangster, and was credited as "Walter (Jack) Palance".

That year he was featured in Halls of Montezuma (1951), about United States Marines during World War II. He returned to Broadway for Darkness at Noon (1951) by Sidney Kingsley, which was a minor hit.

Two Oscar nominations


Palance was second-billed in just his third film, opposite Joan Crawford in the thriller Sudden Fear (1952). His character is a former coal miner, as Palance's father had been.[23] Palance received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.[24]

He was nominated in the same category the following year for his role as hired gunfighter Jack Wilson in Shane (1953).[25][26] The film was a huge hit, and Palance was now an established film name.[citation needed]



Palance played a villain in Second Chance opposite Robert Mitchum, and was an Indian in Arrowhead (both 1953). He got a chance to play a heroic role in Flight to Tangier (1953), a thriller.[27]

He played the lead in Man in the Attic (1953), an adaptation of The Lodger. He was Attila the Hun in Sign of the Pagan with Jeff Chandler, and Simon Magus in the Ancient World epic The Silver Chalice (both 1954) with Paul Newman.[28]

He had the star part in I Died a Thousand Times (1955), a remake of High Sierra, and was cast by Robert Aldrich in two star parts: The Big Knife (1955), from the play by Clifford Odets, as a Hollywood star; and Attack (1956), as a tough soldier in World War II.

In 1955, he had an operation for appendicitis.[29]

Palance was in a Western, The Lonely Man (1957), playing the father of Anthony Perkins, and played a double role in House of Numbers (1957).

In 1957, Palance won an Emmy Award for best actor for his portrayal of Mountain McClintock in the Playhouse 90 production of Rod Serling's Requiem for a Heavyweight.[30]

International star


Warwick Films hired Palance to play the hero in The Man Inside (1958), shot in Europe. He was reunited with Robert Aldrich and Jeff Chandler when they worked on Ten Seconds to Hell (1959), filmed in Germany, playing a bomb disposal expert.

Palance on the set with Sharon Tate during the filming of Barabbas (1961).

He made Beyond All Limits (1959) in Mexico, and Austerlitz (1960) in France, then did a series of films in Italy: Revak the Rebel, Sword of the Conqueror, The Mongols, The Last Judgment, and Barabbas (all 1961), and Night Train to Milan and Warriors Five (both 1962). Jean-Luc Godard persuaded Palance to take on the role of Hollywood producer Jeremy Prokosch in the nouvelle vague movie Le Mépris (1963) with Brigitte Bardot. Although the main dialogue was in French, Palance spoke mostly English.[citation needed]

Return to Hollywood


Palance returned to the U.S. to star in the TV series The Greatest Show on Earth (1963–64).[31] In 1964, his presence at a recently integrated movie theatre in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, prompted a riot from segregationists who assumed Palance was there to promote civil rights.[32]

He played a gangster in Once a Thief (1965) with Alain Delon. In the following year he appeared in the television film Alice Through the Looking Glass, directed by Alan Handley, in which he played the Jabberwock, and had a featured role opposite Lee Marvin and Burt Lancaster in the Western adventure The Professionals. Palance guest-starred in The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and the episodes were released as a film, The Spy in the Green Hat (1967). He went to England to make Torture Garden (1967), and made Kill a Dragon (1968) in Hong Kong.

Palance provided narration for the 1967 documentary And Still Champion! The Story of Archie Moore. He was in the TV film The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde produced by Dan Curtis, during the making of which he fell and injured himself.[33]

In 1969, Palance recorded a country music album in Nashville, released on Warner Bros. Records. It featured his self-penned song "The Meanest Guy that Ever Lived". The album was re-released on CD in 2003 by the Water label (Water 119). His films were often international co-productions by this time: They Came to Rob Las Vegas, The Mercenary (both 1968), The Desperados, and Marquis de Sade: Justine (both 1969).

Palance had a part in the Hollywood blockbuster Che! (1969) playing Fidel Castro opposite Omar Sharif in the title role, but the film flopped. Palance went back to action films and Westerns: Battle of the Commandos (1970), The McMasters (1970) and Compañeros (1970).

Palance in The Godchild (1974)

Palance had another role in Monte Walsh (1970), from the author of Shane, opposite Lee Marvin, but the film was a box-office disappointment. So too was The Horsemen (1971) with Sharif, directed by John Frankenheimer. He supported Bud Spencer in It Can Be Done Amigo and Charles Bronson in Chato's Land (both 1972), and had the lead in Sting of the West (1972) and Brothers Blue (1973).[citation needed]

Palance as Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula (1973)

In Great Britain he appeared in a highly acclaimed TV film, Bram Stoker's Dracula (1973), in the title role; it was directed by Dan Curtis. Three years earlier, comic book artist Gene Colan had based his interpretation of Dracula for the acclaimed Marvel Comics comic book series The Tomb of Dracula on Palance, explaining, "He had that cadaverous look, a serpentine look on his face. I knew that Jack Palance would do the perfect Dracula."[34]

Palance went back to Hollywood for Oklahoma Crude (1973) then to England to star in Craze (1974). He starred in the television series Bronk between 1975 and 1976 for MGM Television, and starred in the TV films The Hatfields and the McCoys (1975) and The Four Deuces (1976).[citation needed]



In the late 1970s, Palance was mostly based in Italy. He supported Ursula Andress in Africa Express and L'Infermiera, Lee Van Cleef in God's Gun, and Thomas Milian in The Cop in Blue Jeans (all 1976). He was in Black Cobra Woman; Safari Express, a sequel to Africa Express; Mister Scarface; and Blood and Bullets (all 1976). He travelled to Canada to make Welcome to Blood City (1977) and the US for The One Man Jury (1978), Portrait of a Hitman and Angels Revenge (both 1979).

Palance later said his Italian sojourn was the most enjoyable of his career. "In Italy, everyone on the set has a drinking cubicle, and no one is ever interested in working after lunch", he said. "That's a highly civilized way to make a movie."[35] He went back to Canada for H. G. Wells' The Shape of Things to Come (1979).[36]

Return to the U.S. and Ripley's Believe It or Not!


In 1980, Jack Palance narrated the documentary The Strongest Man in the World by Canadian filmmaker Halya Kuchmij, about Mike Swistun, a circus strongman who had been a student of Houdini. Palance attended the premiere of the film on June 6, 1980, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.[37] He appeared in The Ivory Ape (1980), Without Warning (1980), Hawk the Slayer (1980), and the slasher film, Alone in the Dark (1982).

In 1982, Palance began hosting a television revival of Ripley's Believe It or Not!. The weekly series ran from 1982 to 1986 on the American ABC network. The series also starred three different co-hosts from season to season, including Palance's daughter Holly Palance, actress Catherine Shirriff and singer Marie Osmond. Ripley's Believe It or Not! was in rerun syndication on the Sci-fi Channel (U.K.) and the Sci-fi Channel (U.S.) during the 1990s. He appeared in the films Gor and Bagdad Café (both 1987).[citation needed]

Later career


Career revival


Palance had never been out of work since his career began, but his success on Ripley's Believe It or Not! and the international popularity of Bagdad Cafe (1987) created a new demand for his services in big-budget Hollywood films.

He made memorable appearances as villains in Young Guns (1988) as Lawrence Murphy, Tango & Cash (1989) and Tim Burton's Batman (1989). He also performed on Roger Waters' first solo album release, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking (1984), and was in Outlaw of Gor (1988) and Solar Crisis (1990).

City Slickers


Palance was then cast as cowboy Curly Washburn in the 1991 comedy City Slickers, directed by Ron Underwood. He quipped:

I don't go to California much any more. I live on a farm in Pennsylvania, about 100 miles from New York, so I can go into the city for dinner and a show when I want to. I also have a ranch about two hours from Los Angeles, but I don't go there very often at all...But I will always read a decent script when it is offered, and the script to City Slickers made sense. Curly (his character in the film) is the kind of man I would like to be. He is in control of himself, except for deciding the moment of his own death. Besides all that, I got paid pretty good money to make it.[35]

Four decades after his film debut, Palance won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor on March 30, 1992, for his performance as Curly.[38] Stepping onstage to accept the award, the 6' 4" (1.93 m) actor looked down at 5' 7" (1.70 m) Oscar host Billy Crystal (who was also his co-star in the movie) and joked, mimicking one of his lines from the film, "Billy Crystal ... I crap bigger than him." He then dropped to the floor and demonstrated his ability, at the age of 73, to perform one-armed push-ups.[citation needed]

The audience loved the moment and host Crystal turned it into a running gag. At various points in the broadcast, Crystal announced that Palance was "backstage on the StairMaster", had bungee-jumped off the Hollywood sign, had rendezvoused with the space shuttle in orbit, had fathered all the children in a production number, had been named People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive", and had won the New York primary election. At the end of the broadcast Crystal said he wished he could be back next year, but "I've just been informed Jack Palance will be hosting."[citation needed]

Years later, Crystal appeared on Inside the Actors Studio and fondly recalled that, after the Oscar ceremony, Palance approached him during the reception: "He stopped me and put his arms out and went, 'Billy Crystal, who thought it would be you?' It was his really funny way of saying thank you to a little New York Jewy guy who got him the Oscars."[39]

In 1993, during the opening of the Oscars, a spoof of that Oscar highlight featured Palance appearing to drag in an enormous Academy Award statuette with Crystal again hosting, riding on the rear end of it. Halfway across the stage, Palance dropped to the ground as if exhausted, but then performed several one-armed push-ups before regaining his feet and dragging the giant Oscar the rest of the way across the stage.[40]

He appeared in Cyborg 2 (1993); Cops & Robbersons (1994) with Chevy Chase; City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold (1994); and on TV in Buffalo Girls (1995). He also voiced Rothbart in the 1994 animated film The Swan Princess.

Final years


Palance's final films included Ebenezer (1998), a TV Western version of Charles Dickens's classic A Christmas Carol, with Palance as Scrooge; Treasure Island (1999); Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter's End (2000); and Prancer Returns (2001).

Palance (left) visits a VA Hospital in 2005

Palance, at the time chairman of the Hollywood Trident Foundation, walked out of a Russian Film Festival in Hollywood in 2004. After being introduced, Palance said, "I feel like I walked into the wrong room by mistake. I think that Russian film is interesting, but I have nothing to do with Russia or Russian film. My parents were born in Ukraine: I'm Ukrainian. I'm not Russian. So, excuse me, but I don't belong here. It's best if we leave."[41] Palance was awarded the title of "People's Artist" by Vladimir Putin, president of Russia; however, Palance refused it.[41]

In 2001, Palance returned to the recording studio as a special guest on friend Laurie Z's album Heart of the Holidays to narrate the classic poem "The Night Before Christmas". In 2002, he starred in the television movie Living with the Dead opposite Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen and Diane Ladd. In 2004, he starred in another television production, Back When We Were Grownups, once again directed by Ron Underwood, opposite Blythe Danner; it was his final performance.[citation needed]

Personal life


Palance lived for several years around Tehachapi, California. He was married to his first wife, Virginia (née Baker), from 1949 to 1968. They had three children, one of whom is retired actress Holly Palance. On New Year's Day, 2003, Virginia was struck and killed by a car in Los Angeles. In May 1987, Palance married his second wife, Elaine Rogers. His death certificate listed his marital status as "Divorced".

Palance painted and sold landscape art, with a poem included on the back of each picture. He was also the author of The Forest of Love, a book of poems published in 1996 by Summerhouse Press.[42] He was a supporter of the Republican Party.[43]

Palance enjoyed raising cattle on his ranch in the Tehachapi Mountains.[44] He gave up eating red meat after working on his ranch, commenting that he couldn't eat a cow.[45]

Palance acknowledged a lifelong attachment to his Pennsylvania heritage and visited there when able. Shortly before his death, he sold his farm in Butler Township and put his art collection up for auction.[46]

Novelist Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club and other works, acknowledged in a 2007 interview that he was a distant nephew of Palance.[47]



Palance died on November 10, 2006, at his daughter Holly's home in Montecito, California.[48]



Palance has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6608 Hollywood Boulevard.

In 1992, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

According to writer Mark Evanier, comic book creator Jack Kirby modeled his character Darkseid on the actor.[49]

The Lucky Luke 1956 comic Lucky Luke contre Phil Defer by Morris features a villain named Phil Defer who is a caricature of Jack Palance.

The song "And now we dance" by punk band The Vandals features the lyrics, "Come on and do one hand pushups just like Jack Palance."

American comedian Bill Hicks incorporated a reference to Palance in one of his most famous routines, likening Palance's character in Shane to how he views the United States' role in international warfare.[50]

Novelist Donald E. Westlake stated that he sometimes imagined Palance as the model for the career-criminal character Parker he wrote in a series of novels under the name Richard Stark.[51]

In 2023, Palance was inducted into the Luzerne County Arts & Entertainment Hall of Fame. He was included among the inaugural class of inductees.[52]




Year Title Role Director Notes
1950 Panic in the Streets 'Blackie' Elia Kazan
1951 Halls of Montezuma 'Pigeon' Lane Lewis Milestone
1952 Sudden Fear Lester Blaine David Miller Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1953 Shane Jack Wilson George Stevens Nominated—Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Second Chance 'Cappy' Gordon Rudolph Maté
Arrowhead Toriano Charles Marquis Warren
Flight to Tangier Gil Walker Charles Marquis Warren
Man in the Attic Slade Hugo Fregonese
1954 Sign of the Pagan Attila Douglas Sirk
The Silver Chalice Simon The Magician Victor Saville
1955 Kiss of Fire 'El Tigre' Joseph M. Newman
I Died a Thousand Times Roy Earle / Roy Collins Stuart Heisler
The Big Knife Charles Castle Robert Aldrich
1956 Attack Lieutenant Joe Costa – Fox Company Robert Aldrich
1957 The Lonely Man Jacob Wade Henry Levin
House of Numbers Arnie Judlow / Bill Judlow Russell Rouse
1958 The Man Inside Milo March John Gilling
1959 Ten Seconds to Hell Eric Koertner Robert Aldrich
Beyond All Limits Jim Gatsby Roberto Gavaldón
1960 Austerlitz General Franz von Weyrother Abel Gance
The Barbarians Revak Rudolph Maté
1961 Sword of the Conqueror Alboin Carlo Campogalliani
The Mongols Ogotaï Andre de Toth
The Last Judgment Matteoni Vittorio De Sica
Barabbas Torvald Richard Fleischer
1962 Night Train to Milan Bauer / Schneider Marcello Baldi
Warriors Five Jack Leopoldo Savona
1963 Contempt Jeremy Prokosch Jean-Luc Godard
1965 Once a Thief Walter Pedak Ralph Nelson
1966 The Professionals Raza Richard Brooks
1967 Torture Garden Ronald Wyatt Freddie Francis (segment 4 "The Man Who Collected Poe")
Kill a Dragon Rick Masters Michael Moore
1968 Madigan's Millions Matteo Cirini Stanley Prager (voice of Riccardo Garrone in the English-language version, uncredited)
They Came to Rob Las Vegas Douglas Antonio Isasi-Isasmendi
The Mercenary 'Curly' Ricciolo Sergio Corbucci
1969 The Desperados Parson Josiah Galt Henry Levin
A Bullet for Rommel Major John Heston León Klimovsky
Marquis de Sade: Justine Father Antonin Jesús Franco
Che! Fidel Castro Richard Fleischer
Legion of the Damned Colonel Charley MacPherson Umberto Lenzi
1970 The McMasters Kolby Alf Kjellin
Monte Walsh Chet Rollins William A. Fraker
Compañeros John Sergio Corbucci
1971 Horsemen Tursen John Frankenheimer
1972 It Can Be Done Amigo 'Sonny' Bronston Maurizio Lucidi
Chato's Land Captain Quincey Whitmore Michael Winner
Sting of the West Buck Santini Enzo G. Castellari
And So Ends Narrator (voice) Robert Young
1973 Brothers Blue Captain Hillman Luigi Bazzoni
Oklahoma Crude Hellman Stanley Kramer
1974 Craze Neal Mottram Freddie Francis
Dan Curtis' Dracula Count Dracula Dan Curtis
1975 The Four Deuces Victor 'Vic' Morono William H. Bushnell
The Great Adventure William Bates Gianfranco Baldanello
Africa Express Robert Preston / Willaim Hunter Michele Lupo
L'Infermiera Mr. Kitch Nello Rossati
1976 God's Gun Sam Clayton Gianfranco Parolini
The Cop in Blue Jeans Norman Shelley / Richard J. Russo Bruno Corbucci
Black Cobra Woman Judas Carmichael Joe D'Amato
Safari Express Van Daalen Duccio Tessari
Mister Scarface 'Scarface' Manzari Fernando Di Leo
Blood and Bullets Duke Alfonso Brescia
1977 Welcome to Blood City Frendlander Peter Sasdy
1978 The One Man Jury Lieutenant Wade Charles Martin
1979 Angels' Brigade Mike Farrell Greydon Clark
The Shape of Things to Come Omus George McCowan
Portrait of a Hitman Jim Buck Allan A. Buckhantz
Cocaine Cowboys Raphael Ulli Lommel
1980 Without Warning Joe Taylor Greydon Clark
Hawk the Slayer Voltan Terry Marcel
1982 Alone in the Dark Frank Hawkes Jack Sholder
1987 Gor Xenos Fritz Kiersch
Bagdad Café Rudi Cox Percy Adlon
1988 Young Guns Lawrence G. Murphy Christopher Cain
Outlaw of Gor Xenos John Cardos
1989 Batman Carl Grissom Tim Burton
Tango & Cash Yves Perret Andrei Konchalovsky
1990 Solar Crisis Travis Richard C. Sarafian
1991 City Slickers 'Curly' Washburn Ron Underwood Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Nominated—Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
1992 Eli's Lesson Old Pilot Peter D. Marshall
1993 Cyborg 2 Mercy Michael Schroeder
1994 Cops & Robbersons Detective Jake Stone Michael Ritchie
City Slickers II: The Legend of Curly's Gold Duke Washburn Paul Weiland
The Swan Princess Sir Rothbart Richard Rich Voice, animated film
1998 The Incredible Adventures of Marco Polo Beelzebub George Erschbamer
1999 Treasure Island Long John Silver Peter Rowe
2001 Prancer Returns Old Man Richards Joshua Butler Direct to DVD
2003 Between Hitler and Stalin Narrator Slavko Nowytski Voice




Year Title Role Notes
1950 Lights Out Episode: "The Man Who Couldn't Remember"
1952 Westinghouse Studio One Episode: "The King in Yellow"
Curtain Call Episode: "Azaya"
Westinghouse Studio One Episode: "Little Man, Big World"
The Gulf Playhouse Episode: "Necktie Party"
1953 Danger Episode: "Said the Spider to the Fly"
The Web Episode: "The Last Chance"
Suspense Tom Walker Episode: "The Kiss-Off"
The Motorola Television Hour Scott Malone / Kurt Bauman Episode: "Brandenburg Gate"
Suspense Episode: "Cagliostro and the Chess Player"
1955 What's My Line Himself 1 episode
1956 Playhouse 90 Harlan 'Mountain' McClintock Episode: "Requiem for a Heavyweight"
Emmy Award for Best Single Performance by an Actor
Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre Dan Morgan Episode: "The Lariat" opposite Constance Ford
1957 Playhouse 90 Monroe Stahr "The Last Tycoon"
Playhouse 90 Manolete "The Death of Manolete"
1963 The Greatest Show on Earth Circus Manager Johnny Slate Series – top billing, 30 episodes
1964 What's My Line Himself Mystery guest
1965 Convoy Harvey Bell Episode: "The Many Colors of Courage"
1966 Run for Your Life Julian Hays Episode: "I Am the Late Diana Hays"
Alice Through the Looking Glass Jabberwock (Live Theatre)
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Louis Strago 2 episodes "The Concrete Overcoat Affair: Parts I and II"
(reedited as The Spy in the Green Hat)
1971 Net Playhouse President Jackson "Trail of Tears"
1973 The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour Himself
1975–76 Bronk Lieutenant Alex 'Bronk' Bronkov Series – top billing, 25 episodes
1979 Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Kaleel Episode: "Planet of the Slave Girls"
Unknown Powers Presenter/Narrator
1981 Tales of the Haunted Stokes Episode: "Evil Stalks This House"
1982–86 Ripley's Believe It or Not! Himself – Host Series
2001 Night Visions Jake Jennings Segment: "Bitter Harvest"


Year Title Role Notes
1956 Requiem for a Heavyweight Harlan 'Mountain' McClintock
1966 Alice Through the Looking Glass Jabberwock [53]
1968 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Dr. Henry Jekyll / Mr. Edward Hyde
1974 Bram Stoker's Dracula Count Dracula
The Godchild Rourke
1975 The Hatfields and the McCoys Anderson 'Devil Anse' Hatfield
1979 The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang Will Smith
1980 The Ivory Ape Marc Kazarian
The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story 'Whitey' Robinson
1981 Evil Stalks This House Stokes
1992 Keep the Change Overstreet
1994 Twilight Zone: Rod Serling's Lost Classics Dr. Jeremy Wheaton (segment "Where the Dead Are")
1995 Buffalo Girls Bartle Bone
1997 I'll Be Home for Christmas Bob
1998 Ebenezer Ebenezer Scrooge
1999 Sarah, Plain and Tall: Winter's End John Witting
2001 Living With the Dead Allan Van Praagh
2004 Back When We Were Grownups Paul 'Poppy' Davitch (final film role)

Awards and nominations

Association Year Category Nominated work Result
Academy Awards 1953 Best Supporting Actor Sudden Fear Nominated
1954 Shane Nominated
1992 City Slickers Won
American Comedy Awards 1992 Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture Won
Chicago Film Critics Association Award 1992 Best Supporting Actor Nominated
DVD Exclusive Awards 2001 Best Supporting Actor Prancer Returns Won
Golden Globe Awards 1992 Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture City Slickers Won
Golden Boot Awards 1993 Golden Boot Won
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 1993 Bronze Wrangler – Factual Narrative Legends of the West Won
Primetime Emmy Awards 1957 Best Single Performance by an Actor Playhouse 90 Won
WorldFest Flagstaff 1998 Lifetime Achievement Award Won
Online Film & Television Association Award 2004 Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture or Miniseries Back When We Were Grownups Nominated
20/20 Award 2012 Best Supporting Actor City Slickers Nominated


  • Palance, Warner Bros, 1969[54]


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  8. ^ Official records only show Palance in one sanctioned fight. His other fights may have been club fights, boxrec.com. Accessed September 10, 2022.
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  13. ^ "Pennsylvania Center for the Book". pabook.libraries.psu.edu. Retrieved April 2, 2024.
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