Friday, November 10, 2006
"he's no cowpuncher!"
Veteran actor and Hollywood icon, Jack Palance passed away today of natural causes at age 87. My first introduction to this unique artist was through a television show called 'Ripley's Believe It Or Not' in the early 80's. The current incarnation of that show isn't bad, but doesn't compare to the feelings of mystery and spookiness that Mr. Palance brought to it. He started his film career with 'Panic in the Streets' in 1950 and did one or two movies and plenty of television before starring in Shelf favorite 'Shane' in 1953 as bad guy Jack Wilson. After 'Ripley's', my next meeting with Mr. Palance would be in 1980's 'Hawk the Slayer'. That one is a favorite of mine and Loophole's. We enjoy laughing at the campiness and corny goings on in this strange fantasy film. It was definately a stinker, but one you can't help but watch. In fact Mr. Palance once said, "Most of the stuff I do is garbage." That may be his opinion of the films, but Jack himself was a fine actor with a style all his own. He was versitile. He was in everything from thrillers and noir to westerns, fantasy, TV, and comedy. He made a career out of playing the co-star in most of his pictures. He was one of the last actors still working from the era of "old Hollywood". He was not like the stars of today who were consumed with themselves. He would let someone else have the limelight, but his parts often stole the show. I think the last movie I saw him in (other than some of his classic films) was 'Young Guns' where he played Lawrence Murphy. He actually brought a little class to the film and was a villian you could really hate. That's the true job of an actor, though. You have to make people believe what you're playing and draw on their emotions. We don't see that too much these days. Sadly, we'll see even less of it now because with the passing of this man, we've lost one of our last true actors.
Please feel free to comment if the need strikes you.
“One of the most important reasons for living is to do something - live outside of yourself and put together an idea, an idea that you want to explore and then complete... Awaken your creative sensitivities!”
------- Jack Palance