Oscar-Winning Actor Jack Palance Dies

posted 2006-11-10 17:57:24 by beth



LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jack Palance, the craggy-faced menace in ''Shane,'' ''Sudden Fear'' and other films who turned to comedy at 70 with his Oscar-winning self-parody in ''City Slickers,'' died Friday.

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jack Palance, the craggy-faced menace in ''Shane,'' ''Sudden Fear'' and other films who turned to comedy at 70 with his Oscar-winning self-parody in ''City Slickers,'' died Friday.



Palance died of natural causes at his home in Montecito, Calif., surrounded by family, said spokesman Dick Guttman. Palance was 85 according to Associated Press records, but his family gave his age as 87.



When Palance accepted his Oscar for best supporting actor he delighted viewers of the 1992 Academy Awards by dropping to the stage and performing one-armed push-ups to demonstrate his physical prowess.



''That's nothing, really,'' he said slyly. ''As far as two-handed push-ups, you can do that all night, and it doesn't make a difference whether she's there or not.''



That year's Oscar host, Billy Crystal, turned the moment into a running joke, making increasingly outlandish remarks about Palance's accomplishments throughout the night's awards presentations.



It was a magic moment that epitomized the actor's 40 years in films. Always the iconoclast, Palance had scorned most of his film roles.



''Most of the stuff I do is garbage,'' he once told a reporter, adding that most of the directors he worked with were incompetent.



Movie audiences, however, were electrified by the actor's chiseled face and hulking presence, and a calm, low voice that made him all the more chilling.




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