Published at: Nov. 10, 2006, 4:51 p.m. CST by quint
Hey folks. Quint here with some really bummer news. Jack Palance has passed away at the age of 87.
There aren't many that could match Jack Palance's intimidating presence. He was one of the best gruff actors that you just knew could kill you with a twitch of a muscle, so you better not do anything to piss him off. The man starred in many films, tons of westerns, in his career, but he didn't stick to one genre. Palance played Dracula and Fidel Castro, for example. His career also flourished in many different stages.
My personal favorite stage was his '70s work where he went to Italy and made a run of fun as hell exploitation/genre pictures, including one of my all time favorites from his films, Sergio Corbucci's COMPANEROS. Sure, his work in SHANE is classic, but there's just something so fun about his one-handed man out for revenge... with his trusty falcon at his side... that makes me smile.
He enjoyed a resurgance of popularity in the late '80s and '90s with roles in BATMAN and the CITY SLICKERS films. And TANGO & CASH. Can't forget that one. He played the ultimate '80s action movie bad guy in that flick. Another favorite role for me is his demented vet. in the early New Line horror film ALONE IN THE DARK about a power outtage that allows a group of mental patients to escape their cells. Palance brought a subtle, natural creepiness to his character, who ended up not being all that damn crazy in the end.
Looking up his biography, he lead an insanely interesting life before his movie career. It started as a professional heavyweight boxer in the early '40s, winning his first 15 fights (12 by knockout) and losing once on a 4th round decision. He then fought in WW2, earning a Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal and the Victory Medal.
I am personally very saddened by his passing and my thoughts will be with Mr. Palance's friends, family and fans today.