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Oscar-Winner Jack Palance Dies

Jack Palance, rolling a cigarette between scenes of the film <em>Monty Walsh</em>.
/ Fox Photos/Getty Images
Fox Photos/Getty Images
Jack Palance, rolling a cigarette between scenes of the film <em>Monty Walsh</em>.

Actor Jack Palance, known for his haltingly intense speaking style and dozens of roles in Western and noir films, has died. A veteran of World War II, Palance was 87.

Palance's face had been altered by burns -- and plastic surgery -- suffered when the bomber he was piloting crashed during World War II.

The look made Palance perfect for noir films, like 1952's Sudden Fear, for which he was nominated for a supporting actor Oscar. He got another for his role in Shane a year later.

After years of playing the heavy in Hollywood, Palance became a hit in comedy films late in life. At 70, he won an Oscar for his over-the-top role as Curly in the Billy Crystal film City Slickers.

On that occasion, Palance used his acceptance speech to express frustration with filmmakers who don't consider working with older actors. To prove his point, Palance dropped to the surface of the stage and powered through a set of one-armed pushups. The crowd cheered.

Jack Palance never tired -- and audiences never tired of him.

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