Friday, November 10, 2006

RIP: Actor Jack Palance

Actor Jack Palance, who won an Oscar with his comedic self-parody in 1991's "City Slickers," died Friday.

He was 87, said spokesman Dick Guttman, and died of natural causes in his home in Montecito, California, surrounded by his family.

Known for hard, grizzled roles in numerous Westerns during his six-decade career, Palance gained a second wind of fame when he won the best supporting actor Oscar for playing Curly in "City Slickers."

The actor clutched his Oscar in one hand and dropped to the ground for a round of vigorous one-handed push-ups.

The Academy Awards crowd laughed and applauded as he said, "That's nothing, really. 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."

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

"Most of them shouldn't even be directing traffic," he said.


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