He exemplified evil incarnate on film -- portraying some of the most intense and gripping villains witnessed in 50s westerns and melodrama -- and Jack Palance went on to win Oscar "Best Supporting Actor" nominations for two of them. It would take a grizzled, eccentric comic performance 40 years later, however, in order to grab the coveted statuette.
Of Ukranian descent, Palance was born Volodymir Ivanovich Palahniuk on February 18, 1919, in Pennsylvania coal country. His father, a miner, died of black lung disease. The sensitive, artistic lad worked in the mines in his early years but averted the same fate as his father. Athletics was his ticket out of the mines when he won a football scholarship to the University of North Carolina. He subsequently dropped out to try ...» read full biography