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The Lancasters

Biography

The Lancasters were one particular odd outfits organized by producer Derek Lawrence, who always appeared to get access to famous brands Nicky Hopkins, Ritchie Blackmore, and a variety of future luminaries for session work through the mid-’60s. Lawrence, a onetime protégé of Joe Meek, place the Lancasters — Blackmore on acoustic guitar, Mick Underwood (drums), and Chas Hodges (bass), all three through the Outlaws, plus Reg Cost (saxophone) and Hopkins (doubtless between gigs using the Hoochie Coochie Guys) on the ivories — to back again a woman trio (the Murmaids, following a fashion) within a edition of “TO LEARN Him Would be to Like Him.” The combo acquired a while left over by the end from the program, and Lawrence got two instrumentals out of these, “Earthshaker” and “Satan’s Vacation,” that have been released on an extremely obscure single over the Titan label, acknowledged towards the Lancasters. “Earthshaker” was a noisy, crunching instrumental, inspired by Chuck Berry (and relatively similar to his “Electric guitar Boogie”), without overdubs, simply Blackmore and firm ripping through one minute and 40 secs of basic rock and roll & move licks. “Satan’s Vacation” was a high-wattage version of Grieg’s “Within the Hall from the Hill Ruler,” a tune that remained in Blackmore’s stage repertory directly into the ’90s. The guitarist’s clean however sharp and effective playing from the melody is really a marvel of rock and roll & move virtuosity, while Underwood’s drumming, coupling Charlie Watts-type steadiness with small Jim McCarty-style flourishes, may be the various other notable feature. The group, which hardly ever really been around, hardly ever released another record, and in just a calendar year of its discharge, Blackmore was playing within an clothing known as Roundabout alongside organist Jon Lord and on his method to producing the music he enjoyed.

Quick Facts


Full Name The Lancasters
Nationality American
Children Bill Lancaster, Joanna Lancaster, Jimmy Lancaster, Susan Lancaster, Sighle Lancaster
Parents James Henry Lancaster, Elizabeth Lancaster
Music Songs Marching Through the Streets, Popsicles & Icicles, Burn the Bastards, Earthshaker, I Don't Wanna Be, Wasted Life, Take a Look, Asphyxiation, Why Don't You, Stiff, The Future, Control, Lights Out, Mental Breakdown
Albums Alexander and Gore (2000 - 2005), Alexander & Gore
Nominations BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actor
Movies From Here to Eternity, The Leopard, The Killers, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, The Professionals, The Swimmer, Elmer Gantry, The Unforgiven, Vera Cruz, Sweet Smell of Success, Lawman, The Crimson Pirate, The Train, Field of Dreams, Birdman of Alcatraz, The Kentuckian, Seven Days in May, Trapeze, Judgment at Nuremberg, Ulzana's Raid, Valdez Is Coming, Tough Guys, Local Hero, Brute Force, The Rainmaker, Criss Cross, The Rose Tattoo, The Scalphunters, Run Silent, Run Deep, The Hallelujah Trail, Executive Action, The Flame and the Arrow, The Cassandra Crossing, Vengeance Valley, Separate Tables, The Devil's Disciple, Sorry, Wrong Number, Atlantic City, The Young Savages, Conversation Piece, Twilight's Last Gleaming, Come Back, Little Sheba, Jim Thorpe – All-American, Zulu Dawn, The Gypsy Moths, His Majesty O'Keefe, I Walk Alone, Rocket Gibraltar, Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson, Go Tell the Spartans, All My Sons
TV Shows Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair, The Phantom of the Opera, On Wings of Eagles, Moses the Lawgiver, Väter und Söhne – Eine deutsche Tragödie, Marco Polo, The Betrothed


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#Fact
1 He appeared in eight films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: From Here to Eternity (1953), The Rose Tattoo (1955), Separate Tables (1958), Elmer Gantry (1960), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), Airport (1970), Atlantic City (1980) and Field of Dreams (1989). Of those, only From Here to Eternity (1953) is a winner in the category.
2 Despite his reputation for physical strength and agility, Lancaster was a chain smoker.
3 He sought the role of Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972) before Marlon Brando was cast but was never considered for it.
4 Turned down the lead role in Dark City (1950) which went to Charlton Heston as his film debut.
5 Was considered for Gregory Peck's role in Twelve O'Clock High (1949).
6 Did not start acting until he was 31 years old.
7 Release of the book, "Against Type: The Biography of Burt Lancaster" by Gary Fishgall.
8 New York City: In the year that marks the centennial of his birth in 1913, Lancaster is being honored with a 12-film tribute at Lincoln Center ranging from 1946's The Killers (1946) to _Atlantic City (1981)_ in 1981. [May 2013]
9 Release of the book, "Burt Lancaster: An American Life" by Kate Buford.
10 Release of the book, "Burt Lancaster" by Minty Clinch.
11 In the late 1940s, he was in negotiation to appear as the male lead in a film entitled "A Sinner Kissed An Angel" opposite Laraine Day but the project never materialized because Lancaster hated the storyline and refused to do it, making the studio call the whole thing off.
12 During the Great Depression, he supported himself working as a nude artists model by day and a singing waiter by night.
13 He was wanted for Wild Geese, but thought it inferior, and Ashanti which he was interested terms couldn't be agreed.
14 In honor of his 100th birthday, Turner Classic Movies honored Lancaster as their Star of the Month for November 2013.
15 He was offered the Montgomery Clift role in Red River (1948) by agent Charles K. Feldman, who was trying to sign the former acrobat, but Lancaster had just signed with agent Harold Hecht and so turned down the role to star in The Killers (1946), his film debut.
16 According to his wishes, he was buried without any memorial or funeral service. His grave in Westwood Memorial Park has a headstone that simply reads, ""Burt Lancaster, 1913-1994".
17 Ironically, he was not a very good swimmer despite being an extremely versatile athlete from his days as a circus acrobat, and had to train with a professional swimming coach for his role in The Swimmer (1968), a role he took after asking his daughter Joanna what she thought of the script.
18 Irish-American.
19 His house burned down (as did many others) in the famous Bel Air - Brentwood fire of November 6, 1961.
20 One of his first acting roles, if not his first professional role, was a part in the non-musical Broadway play "A Sound of Hunting" (1945) playing character "Sgt. Joseph Mooney". He co-starred in his first movie the next year (The Killers (1946)).
21 He has a step-son, John Scherer, from his widow, Susie.
22 Son Billy was named after Lancaster's dead brother. His daughter Susan Elizabeth was named after his mother, Lizzie.
23 His son Jimmy was born with a foot deformity and as a baby had to wear a cast that had to be constantly changed. When daughter Joanna was born with the same deformity, they decided not to use a cast but to see if she would outgrow the deformity.
24 His daughter Sighle's name is pronounced Sheila.
25 Daughter Sighle worked as a model then became a social worker.
26 His son, Bill Lancaster, wrote the screenplay for The Bad News Bears (1976).
27 He has only one grandchild, granddaughter Keigh, born in 1966 to his son, Bill Lancaster.
28 In order to get his passport renewed in January 1954, he was forced to send a letter to the State Department in which he wrote, "I am not now a Communist. I never been a Communist and I am not in sympathy with the Communist movement.".
29 In 1957 he requested a meeting with FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, who responded, "I will not greet Lancaster in view of his subversive associations.".
30 Starred in five films directed by John Frankenheimer.
31 He was originally cast in Victor Mature's role in The Robe (1953), but backed out due to the Christian theme.
32 Voted "Man of the Year" by Aid for AIDS in 1987 for his extensive work on their behalf, including allowing his photograph to be used on their annual Christmas card.
33 Was ill with hepatitis while filming Cattle Annie and Little Britches (1981).
34 Turned down Clint Eastwood's role as Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry (1971). The plot some called fascist of the lawman who goes beyond the limits of the law to kill a marginalized criminal contradicted his belief in a collective responsibility for criminal and social justice and the protection of individual rights.
35 Took a pay cut to make Castle Keep (1969), which he intended to be the ultimate anti-war film and an allegory for the Vietnam conflict.
36 Teamed up with director John Huston to make The Unforgiven (1960) as a left-wing response to John Ford's epic western The Searchers (1956).
37 In 1965 he turned down Charlton Heston's role as Major General Charles Gordon in Khartoum (1966), and Richard Burton's role in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965).
38 In 1961 he announced his intention to produce a biopic of Michelangelo, in which he would play the title role and possibly portray the painter as a homosexual. However, he was forced to shelve this project due to the five-month filming schedule on The Leopard (1963). Later, Charlton Heston starred as Michelangelo in The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965). Heston denied that the painter was gay in his autobiography.
39 He was prevented from playing William Hurt's Oscar-winning role as a flamboyant gay hairdresser in Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985) when forced to undergo quadruple bypass surgery on 26 August 1983 following a heart attack. He believed his vocal chords were damaged after tubes were inserted down his throat during the operation.
40 Attended Elizabeth Taylor's "Commitment to Life" fundraiser on 19 September 1985, despite being warned his appearance would resurrect the longtime rumors about his sexuality. At the event Lancaster read out Rock Hudson's letter admitting that he had AIDS.
41 A self-described "Kennedy man", Lancaster dined with President John F. Kennedy at the White House. He delayed the release of Seven Days in May (1964) when the President was assassinated, and later joined fellow liberal activists Robert Ryan and Will Geer in starring in Executive Action (1973), the first Kennedy assassination conspiracy movie. Its "real purpose", Lancaster stated, was "to make people skeptical.".
42 Jane Fonda admitted she was devastated to lose Lancaster from Old Gringo (1989), because she admired him very greatly.
43 Replaced Sir Laurence Olivier as Dr Ernst Janning in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). Lancaster had not been impressed when Olivier kept confusing him with Kirk Douglas while filming The Devil's Disciple (1959).
44 Supported Tom Bradley's unsuccessful campaign for Mayor of Los Angeles in 1969.
45 During the late 1950s John Wayne approached Lancaster, suggesting they make a western together. Lancaster laughed off the idea, suggesting they would need Kirk Douglas in the film as well. In reality, Lancaster would not work with Wayne, Hollywood's most prominent Republican supporter who had been actively involved in the McCarthy witch hunts as a founding member and later President of the right-wing Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. Lancaster had only agreed to co-star opposite Gary Cooper, a moderate Republican who gave a vague testimony to the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947, after Cooper had starred in the anti-McCarthyism western High Noon (1952). Despite this, Lancaster joined a minute's silence for Wayne on 11 June 1979 while filming Cattle Annie and Little Britches (1981) after Wayne died in Los Angeles.
46 Joined Gregory Peck, James Stewart, Liza Minnelli, and Orson Welles in testifying against the colorization of old movies by Ted Turner in the mid 1980s.
47 He was nearly 33 when he appeared in his first movie, The Killers (1946), having worked as a circus acrobat since his late teens and following war service and acting on Broadway.
48 On the set of Ulzana's Raid (1972) Lancaster told actor Bruce Davison that he had undergone so much plastic surgery over the years that at the age of 58 the most real thing about him were his eyes. He also advised Davison not to become too publicly involved in the anti-Vietnam movement until he was more established in Hollywood.
49 Claimed that he learned a great deal from Gary Cooper's laid back acting style and behavior on the set of Vera Cruz (1954).
50 He would frequently turn down lifetime achievement awards during the 1980s, saying half-jokingly, "Give them to my good friend Kirk", since he knew Douglas would be happier in the limelight.
51 In 1987 he joined Gregory Peck, Martin Sheen and Lloyd Bridges in narrating a television advertisement by People for the American Way, a liberal action group founded by Norman Lear, in opposition to President Ronald Reagan's appointment of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.
52 Participated in the March on Washington for Civil Rights on 28 August 1963, along with Charlton Heston, Marlon Brando and Bob Dylan.
53 Signed a letter in 1947 deploring the anti-communist witch hunts in Hollywood.
54 Eagerly sought the role of a dying composer who discovers his homosexuality in Luchino Visconti's masterpiece Death in Venice (1971). Although the role went to Dirk Bogarde, Lancaster later played a reclusive professor who is brought face to face with his latent homosexuality in Visconti's Conversation Piece (1974).
55 Was a close, longtime friend of Telly Savalas.
56 He could not attend the funeral of close friend Telly Savalas as he was so ill.
57 A self-described atheist, Lancaster agreed to play a corrupt evangelist in Elmer Gantry (1960) because he wanted to make an anti-Billy Graham statement. His performance won him the Best Actor Oscar.
58 Shortly before his massive stroke in November 1990 Lancaster had discussed starring in a sequel to The Leopard (1963). Some of his friends had told him he would be making a big mistake.
59 Go Tell the Spartans (1978), though little seen at the time of its release, is widely considered the greatest anti-war movie about Vietnam.
60 Campaigned for Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential election.
61 He was nearly blacklisted in the late 1940s due to his liberal political beliefs, and the FBI kept a file detailing his activities.
62 A lifelong Democrat and liberal activist, Lancaster appeared prominently on President Richard Nixon's "List of Enemies" due to his support for Senator George McGovern in the 1972 presidential election.
63 When Republican candidate George Bush referred to the American Civil Liberties Union as "un-American" during the 1988 presidential election, Lancaster responded by appearing in a television advertisement in which he said, "My name is Burt Lancaster and I've a confession to make. I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU.".
64 Gave two of his revolvers to Ringo Starr when The Beatles stayed in Hollywood in August 1964.
65 Was the original choice to play Sam Flusky in Under Capricorn (1949), but the part went to Joseph Cotten instead because Lancaster was deemed too expensive.
66 Lancaster stood 6' 1" at his peak, as can be seen in Vera Cruz (1954) where he is clearly two inches shorter than his 6' 3" co-star Gary Cooper.
67 His performance as J.J. Hunsecker in Sweet Smell of Success (1957) is ranked #61 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
68 Attended Visconti's funeral in Rome in March 1976.
69 Frequently compared with the English actor Sir Dirk Bogarde. Both achieved stardom in purely commercial films, then deliberately broke away from their images to star in artistic films and in so doing lost their box office popularity. Both actors were directed twice to great effect by Luchino Visconti - Lancaster in The Leopard (1963) and Conversation Piece (1974), Bogarde in The Damned (1969) and Death in Venice (1971).
70 His performance as J.J. Hunsecker in Sweet Smell of Success (1957) is ranked #76 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
71 Died the very same year as his long-time friend, circus acrobat partner and frequent co-star Nick Cravat.
72 Shared a birthday with Luchino Visconti, who directed him in The Leopard (1963) and Conversation Piece (1974).
73 Luchino Visconti wanted to cast Laurence Olivier in the title role of the Italian prince in "The Leopard" (1963), but his producer overruled him. The producer insisted on a box office star to justify the lavish production's high budget and essentially forced Visconti to accept Burt Lancaster. A decade later, the two Oscar-winning actors competed again for the role of another Italian prince, Mafia chieftain Don Corleone, in "The Godfather" (1972), ultimately losing out to Marlon Brando.
74 Was considered for the role of Jason Colby in The Colbys (1985).
75 One of the very few humanitarian causes he publicly associated himself with was AIDS research. In 1985 he read out a letter from Rock Hudson announcing he was dying of AIDS, although there was later some controversy as to whether the letter had been written by Rock or his secretary (in a 2010 Paley Center for Media documentary about gay visibility on TV, writer Bruce Vilanch said that he had written the letter at Hudson's request). This was at a Hollywood dinner to raise awareness, which only a very few stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Burt Reynolds dared attend. In 1988 there was a poster of Lancaster holding a rose and a caption urging people to be careful.
76 He was not close friends with Kirk Douglas as was often perceived. The closeness of their friendship was largely fabricated by the publicity-wise Douglas, while, in reality, they were very competitive with each other and sometimes privately expressed a mutual personal disdain despite a mutual respect for their acting talents.
77 Lancaster lost out on two roles he lobbied for to Marlon Brando (roles that helped make Brando a legend): that of Stanley Kowalski in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' (1951) and that of Don Vito Corleone in 'The Godfather' (1972).
78 He and Kirk Douglas acted together in 7 movies: Victory at Entebbe (1976), Tough Guys (1986), Seven Days in May (1964), The List of Adrian Messenger (1963), I Walk Alone (1948), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) and The Devil's Disciple (1959)
79 Suffered his first heart attack during the making of Cattle Annie and Little Britches (1981) in 1979.
80 He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd.
81 During World War II, he served as a member of the Special Services branch, entertaining troops. He was stationed in Italy for much of the war.
82 Was named the #19 greatest actor on the 50 Greatest Screen Legends by the American Film Institute
83 In July 1965, United Artists made a settlement with Lancaster to end is association with his production company, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster, which had financially floundered in the late 1950s due to a few flops and exorbitant spending, and wound up operations in 1959. The payoff amount was $920,954.85, approximately $5,223,000 in 2003 dollars. In 1964, part of the proposed settlement with UA had been for Lancaster to star in Khartoum (1966) but that role eventually was played by Charlton Heston.
84 Turned down a $1-million offer to appear in the remake of Ben-Hur (1959). If he had accepted the offer, he would have beaten both Elizabeth Taylor (Cleopatra (1963)) as the first female star and Marlon Brando (The Fugitive Kind (1960)) as the first male star, to breach that million-dollar threshold.
85 Had tried to raise financing for four years for Hector Babenco's film of Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), based on the novel by Manuel Puig, after Babenco gave him the novel in 1981 at the NY Film Critics Society Ceremony. Lancaster was to have played the role of Molina, the gay hairdresser who shares a cell with Valentin, a political prisoner. However, Lancaster had a heart attack in June 1983, and subsequently a quadruple-bypass operation, and at the age of 70, he was essentially uninsurable. He had to withdraw from roles in Maria's Lovers (1984), Gorky Park (1983), Firestarter (1984) and the TV mini-series A.D. (1985). The film was later made for less than $1 million with William Hurt in the role Lancaster wanted to play. Hurt won a Best Actor Oscar as Molina.
86 Was cast in Old Gringo (1989) but was informed by Columbia when he arrived in Mexico City for rehearsals in December 1987 that he was being replaced with Gregory Peck, as the insurance for him was too high. He sued Columbia for his $1.5-million fee, and made an out-of-court settlement.
87 Helped pay for the defense of Private Billy Dean Smith, an African American soldier accused of 'fragging' two officers in Vietnam in 1971. Lancaster gave $3,000 to his defense attorneys to hire ballistics experts to testify at his court-martial. Smith was acquitted.
88 An unabashed political liberal, chairman of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California and an active campaigner for George McGovern in the 1972 Presidential election, Lancaster was one of the 575 people named on President Richard Nixon's 1973 "Enemies List," along with fellow actors Gene Hackman and Paul Newman, "Playboy" magazine publisher Hugh M. Hefner and TV producer Norman Lear.
89 Turned down the lead in Patton (1970) due to his anti-Vietnam War sympathies, but actively campaigned for the title role in "Patton" screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola's next movie, The Godfather (1972). He offered to do a screen test for the role of Don Corleone, and even though Paramount brass was interested in casting him, Coppola wanted Marlon Brando, and got him after Brando made his own "screen-test" (actually a video Coppola shot of him improvising a makeup for the old Don). Both George C. Scott and Brando won, and refused, Oscars for the roles.
90 A self-described atheist, Lancaster had turned down the role in the remake of Ben-Hur (1959) played by Charlton Heston, but followed in Heston's footsteps when he played the title role in Moses the Lawgiver (1974), the $5-million TV epic produced by Britain's ATV-ITC and Italy's RAI Television. When a reporter asked him if he was following in Heston's sandal-clad steps, Lancaster replied, "If Charlton was trapped in Biblical films, it was his own fault - he accepted the limitation." Though Lancaster claimed he was an atheist, some of his friends doubted him.
91 His first TV role was a guest appearance on Sesame Street (1969) in 1969, reciting the alphabet.
92 Told Bruce Davison, his co-star in Ulzana's Raid (1972), of a practical joke he played on Kirk Douglas, who was several inches shorter than Lancaster: "I'll never forget the time we were getting ready for our big two-shot and I hid his lifts on him. He was so pissed!"
93 He made a great deal of money from Airport (1970), which was a huge hit, due to a 10% profit participation once the movie hit $50 million. (the film grossed $45.3 million in North America alone). Lancaster said that the movie was "the worst piece of junk ever made."
94 In January 1980, he almost died during a routine operation to remove his gallbladder, when the operation, which should have lasted five hours, turned into an 11-hour ordeal. After the organ was removed, a team of doctors worked to repair an unusually small channel from the gallbladder to the intestines, although Lancaster later told a friend that a doctor had accidentally cut into a valve. A doctor reportedly got down on the floor to pray for the actor's life. Lancaster was in intensive care for 48-hours after the operation.
95 Was forced by United Artists to make four films for $150,000 a picture in the 1960s: The Young Savages (1961), Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), The Train (1964) and The Hallelujah Trail (1965) rather than his normal fee of $750,000, because of cost overruns at his production company, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster, for which he was personally responsible.
96 Allegedly showed up at a Hollywood Oscar party in the late 1950s wearing a G-string and spray-painted gold, resembling an Academy Award statuette after a similar stunt had been done by Rock Hudson and Vera-Ellen.
97 After placing tenth place in the Motion Picture Herald poll of most popular box-office stars in 1962, he dropped to 18th place in 1963 and never again appeared on the list.
98 Came up with $150,000 of his own money to complete Go Tell the Spartans (1978) after the production ran out of money with five days left to shoot. The shooting schedule already had been pared from 40 to 31 days to save money.
99 His son Bill Lancaster's screenplay for The Bad News Bears (1976) was based on his experience being coached by his father. Bill had been disabled by polio as a child, and according to friend Joel Douglas - the son of Kirk Douglas - the Tatum O'Neal character in the film, the odd kid out, was Bill. The coach played by Walter Matthau was based on Burt, who was known for his grumpiness.
100 Robert Altman wanted Lancaster for the role of Ned Buntline in Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976) because he had the "stature" of a great movie star but was "able to play that as a kind of bullshitter", which was what Altman conceived the character to be: "He understood totally the bullshit factor and what he was playing." Buntline, a real-life writer of nickel Westerns, had invented Buffalo Bill Cody as a western hero; Altman knew that Lancaster had invented himself as a star, a new kind of star that had revolutionized the movies in the 1950s.
101 Despite his enduring stardom, he surprisingly only placed in Quigley Publications' Top 10 Poll of Money-Making Stars twice: #4 in 1956 and #10 in 1963. The annual poll of movie exhibitors ranks the top stars in terms of box-office drawing power. Even more surprisingly, his friend and co-star Kirk Douglas never made the list during his career.
102 Felt intimidated by co-star Montgomery Clift on the set of From Here to Eternity (1953) due to Clift's great talent.
103 Until undergoing emergency quadruple heart bypass surgery in 1983, he maintained the fantastic physical health he attained as an acrobat in his youth. He impressed many who knew him with his apparently enormous strength.
104 He was an infamous ladies man in Hollywood, which eventually irritated his wife, Norma, enough for her to leave him.
105 He admitted that an odd thing always happened to him on a movie set. He would complain about everything, sometimes very loudly. By the end of the shoot however, the crews loved him and hated to see him go, despite his complaints. He never understood why that happened.
106 One of his demands was that he have a high bar set up on sets and locations so he could perform acrobatics and stay in shape.
107 He was voted the 39th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
108 In 1947 he was offered the role of Stanley Kowalski in the original Broadway production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" after first choice John Garfield was rejected due to his demands for a ownership percentage of the play. He turned down the role that went to Marlon Brando and made him a legend.
109 Known for his liberal political sympathies, he was one of the Hollywood movie stars, along with Marlon Brando, Sammy Davis Jr., Charlton Heston, Judy Garland, Eartha Kitt, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier and Paul Newman, who participated in Martin Luther King's March on Washington in August 1963. He flew home from Europe, where he was making a film, to participate. He was a financial supporter of King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
110 Descended from Irish Protestants from Ulster who emigrated to the United States in the 1880s.
111 According to Kate Buford in her biography "Burt Lancaster: An American Life," he felt competitive with Marlon Brando, who achieved stardom playing Stanley Kowalski on Broadway, a role Lancaster turned down. A Top 10 box-office success in the early 1960s, it was this sense of competition with Brando, who was known as both an actor's actor and a major movie star, that led Lancaster to plunge into art films and riskier fare such as Luchino Visconti's The Leopard (1963), in order to prove himself as an actor and be known as an artist rather than just a movie star. After this refocusing of his career, he slipped out of the Top 10 and never again was a major box office attraction.
112 Son Jimmy was diagnosed as schizophrenic.
113 5 children: James Stephen "Jimmy" (born June 30, 1946), William "Billy" (born in November, 1947), Susan Elizabeth (born July 5, 1949), Joanna Mari (born in July, 1951) and Sighle (born in 1954).
114 Was Cecil B. DeMille's first choice to play "Samson" in Samson and Delilah (1949).
115 Suffered a severe stroke while visiting actor Dana Andrews, who was suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Lancaster remained hospitalized until February 1991, and incapacitated and unable to speak until his death in October, 1994. [November 1990]
116 Was a big fan of the silent film The Unknown (1927), probably partially because the movie took place in a circus, and Burt himself spent a lot of time early in his life in a circus. He once said that no scene in any movie affected him as emotionally as the one in this movie in which Lon Chaney learns that Joan Crawford does not love him.
117 Father of actor/writer Bill Lancaster.
118 Started out as a circus performer.
119 Ranked #85 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
120 Graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in New York
121 Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#100).
122 He sought the role of Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972) before Marlon Brando was cast but was never considered for it.
123 Turned down the lead role in Dark City (1950) which went to Charlton Heston as his film debut.
124 Was considered for Gregory Peck's role in Twelve O'Clock High (1949).
125 Did not start acting until he was 32 years old.
126 Release of the book, "Against Type: The Biography of Burt Lancaster" by Gary Fishgall.
127 New York City: In the year that marks the centennial of his birth in 1913, Lancaster is being honored with a 12-film tribute at Lincoln Center ranging from 1946's The Killers (1946) to _Atlantic City (1981)_ in 1981. [May 2013]
128 Release of the book, "Burt Lancaster: An American Life" by Kate Buford.
129 Release of the book, "Burt Lancaster" by Minty Clinch.
130 In the late 1940s, he was in negotiation to appear as the male lead in a film entitled "A Sinner Kissed An Angel" opposite Laraine Day but the project never materialized because Lancaster hated the storyline and refused to do it, making the studio call the whole thing off.
131 During the Great Depression, he supported himself working as a nude artists model by day and a singing waiter by night.
132 He was wanted for Wild Geese, but thought it inferior, and Ashanti which he was interested terms couldn't be agreed.
133 In honor of his 100th birthday, Turner Classic Movies honored Lancaster as their Star of the Month for November 2013.
134 He was offered the Montgomery Clift role in Red River (1948) by agent Charles K. Feldman, who was trying to sign the former acrobat, but Lancaster had just signed with agent Harold Hecht and so turned down the role to star in The Killers (1946), his film debut.
135 According to his wishes, he was buried without any memorial or funeral service. His grave in Westwood Memorial Park has a headstone that simply reads, ""Burt Lancaster, 1913-1994".
136 Ironically, he was not a very good swimmer despite being an extremely versatile athlete from his days as a circus acrobat, and had to train with a professional swimming coach for his role in The Swimmer (1968), a role he took after asking his daughter Joanna what she thought of the script.
137 Irish-American.
138 His house burned down (as did many others) in the famous Bel Air - Brentwood fire of November 6, 1961.
139 One of his first acting roles, if not his first professional role, was a part in the non-musical Broadway play "A Sound of Hunting" (1945) playing character "Sgt. Joseph Mooney". He co-starred in his first movie the next year (The Killers (1946)).
140 He has a step-son, John Scherer, from his widow, Susie.
141 Son Billy was named after Lancaster's dead brother. His daughter Susan Elizabeth was named after his mother, Lizzie.
142 His son Jimmy was born with a foot deformity and as a baby had to wear a cast that had to be constantly changed. When daughter Joanna was born with the same deformity, they decided not to use a cast but to see if she would outgrow the deformity.
143 His daughter Sighle's name is pronounced Sheila.
144 Daughter Sighle worked as a model then became a social worker.
145 His son, Bill Lancaster, wrote the screenplay for The Bad News Bears (1976).
146 He has only one grandchild, granddaughter Keigh, born in 1966 to his son, Bill Lancaster.
147 In order to get his passport renewed in January 1954, he was forced to send a letter to the State Department in which he wrote, "I am not now a Communist. I never been a Communist and I am not in sympathy with the Communist movement.".
148 In 1957 he requested a meeting with FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, who responded, "I will not greet Lancaster in view of his subversive associations.".
149 Starred in five films directed by John Frankenheimer.
150 He was originally cast in Victor Mature's role in The Robe (1953), but backed out due to the Christian theme.
151 Voted "Man of the Year" by Aid for AIDS in 1987 for his extensive work on their behalf, including allowing his photograph to be used on their annual Christmas card.
152 Was ill with hepatitis while filming Cattle Annie and Little Britches (1981).
153 Turned down Clint Eastwood's role as Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry (1971). The plot some called fascist of the lawman who goes beyond the limits of the law to kill a marginalized criminal contradicted his belief in a collective responsibility for criminal and social justice and the protection of individual rights.
154 Took a pay cut to make Castle Keep (1969), which he intended to be the ultimate anti-war film and an allegory for the Vietnam conflict.
155 Teamed up with director John Huston to make The Unforgiven (1960) as a left-wing response to John Ford's epic western The Searchers (1956).
156 In 1965 he turned down Charlton Heston's role as Major General Charles Gordon in Khartoum (1966), and Richard Burton's role in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965).
157 In 1961 he announced his intention to produce a biopic of Michelangelo, in which he would play the title role and possibly portray the painter as a homosexual although Michelanglo's sexuality unknown. However, he was forced to shelve this project due to the five-month filming schedule on The Leopard (1963). Later, Charlton Heston starred as Michelangelo in The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) and denied that the painter had been gay.
158 He was prevented from playing William Hurt's Oscar-winning role as a flamboyant gay hairdresser in Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985) when forced to undergo quadruple bypass surgery on 26 August 1983 following a heart attack. He believed his vocal chords were damaged after tubes were inserted down his throat during the operation.
159 Attended Elizabeth Taylor's "Commitment to Life" fundraiser on 19 September 1985, despite being warned his appearance would resurrect the longtime rumors about his sexuality. At the event Lancaster read out Rock Hudson's letter admitting that he had AIDS.
160 A self-described "Kennedy man", Lancaster dined with President John F. Kennedy at the White House. He delayed the release of Seven Days in May (1964) when the President was assassinated, and later joined fellow liberal activists Robert Ryan and Will Geer in starring in Executive Action (1973), the first Kennedy assassination conspiracy movie. Its "real purpose", Lancaster stated, was "to make people skeptical.".
161 Jane Fonda admitted she was devastated to lose Lancaster from Old Gringo (1989), because she admired him very greatly.
162 Replaced Sir Laurence Olivier as Dr Ernst Janning in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961). Lancaster had not been impressed when Olivier kept confusing him with Kirk Douglas while filming The Devil's Disciple (1959).
163 Supported Tom Bradley's unsuccessful campaign for Mayor of Los Angeles in 1969.
164 During the late 1950s John Wayne approached Lancaster, suggesting they make a western together. Lancaster laughed off the idea, suggesting they would need Kirk Douglas in the film as well. In reality, Lancaster would not work with Wayne, Hollywood's most prominent Republican supporter who had been actively involved in the McCarthy witch hunts as a founding member and later President of the right-wing Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals. Lancaster had only agreed to co-star opposite Gary Cooper, a moderate Republican who gave a vague testimony to the House Unamerican Activities Committee (HUAC) in 1947, after Cooper had starred in the anti-McCarthyism western High Noon (1952). Despite this, Lancaster joined a minute's silence for Wayne on 11 June 1979 while filming Cattle Annie and Little Britches (1981) after Wayne died in Los Angeles.
165 Joined Gregory Peck, James Stewart, Liza Minnelli, and Orson Welles in testifying against the colorization of old movies by Ted Turner in the mid 1980s.
166 He was 33 when he appeared in his first movie, The Killers (1946), having worked as a circus acrobat since his late teens and following war service and acting on Broadway.
167 On the set of Ulzana's Raid (1972) Lancaster told actor Bruce Davison that he had undergone so much plastic surgery over the years that at the age of 58 the most real thing about him were his eyes. He also advised Davison not to become too publicly involved in the anti-Vietnam movement until he was more established in Hollywood.
168 Claimed that he learned a great deal from Gary Cooper's laid back acting style and behavior on the set of Vera Cruz (1954).
169 He would frequently turn down lifetime achievement awards during the 1980s, saying half-jokingly, "Give them to my good friend Kirk", since he knew Douglas would be happier in the limelight.
170 In 1987 he joined Gregory Peck, Martin Sheen and Lloyd Bridges in narrating a television advertisement by People for the American Way, a liberal action group founded by Norman Lear, in opposition to President Ronald Reagan's appointment of Robert Bork to the Supreme Court.
171 Participated in the March on Washington for Civil Rights on 28 August 1963, along with Charlton Heston, Marlon Brando and Bob Dylan.
172 Signed a letter in 1947 deploring the anti-communist witch hunts in Hollywood.
173 Eagerly sought the role of a dying composer who discovers his homosexuality in Luchino Visconti's masterpiece Death in Venice (1971). Although the role went to Dirk Bogarde, Lancaster later played a reclusive professor who is brought face to face with his latent homosexuality in Visconti's Conversation Piece (1974).
174 Was a close, longtime friend of Telly Savalas.
175 He could not attend the funeral of close friend Telly Savalas as he was so ill.
176 A self-described atheist, Lancaster agreed to play a corrupt evangelist in Elmer Gantry (1960) because he wanted to make an anti-Billy Graham statement. His performance won him the Best Actor Oscar.
177 Shortly before his massive stroke in November 1990 Lancaster had discussed starring in a sequel to The Leopard (1963). Some of his friends had told him he would be making a big mistake.
178 Go Tell the Spartans (1978), though little seen at the time of its release, is widely considered the greatest anti-war movie about Vietnam.
179 Campaigned for Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential election.
180 He was nearly blacklisted in the late 1940s due to his liberal political beliefs, and the FBI kept a file detailing his activities.
181 A lifelong Democrat and liberal activist, Lancaster appeared prominently on President Richard Nixon's "List of Enemies" due to his support for Senator George McGovern in the 1972 presidential election.
182 When Republican candidate George Bush referred to the American Civil Liberties Union as "un-American" during the 1988 presidential election, Lancaster responded by appearing in a television advertisement in which he said, "My name is Burt Lancaster and I've a confession to make. I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU.".
183 Gave two of his revolvers to Ringo Starr when The Beatles stayed in Hollywood in August 1964.
184 Was the original choice to play Sam Flusky in Under Capricorn (1949), but the part went to Joseph Cotten instead because Lancaster was deemed too expensive.
185 Lancaster stood 6' 1" at his peak, as can be seen in Vera Cruz (1954) where he is clearly two inches shorter than his 6' 3" co-star Gary Cooper.
186 His performance as J.J. Hunsecker in Sweet Smell of Success (1957) is ranked #61 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
187 Attended Visconti's funeral in Rome in March 1976.
188 Frequently compared with the English actor Sir Dirk Bogarde. Both achieved stardom in purely commercial films, then deliberately broke away from their images to star in artistic films and in so doing lost their box office popularity. Both actors were directed twice to great effect by Luchino Visconti - Lancaster in The Leopard (1963) and Conversation Piece (1974), Bogarde in The Damned (1969) and Death in Venice (1971).
189 His performance as J.J. Hunsecker in Sweet Smell of Success (1957) is ranked #76 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
190 Died the very same year as his long-time friend, circus acrobat partner and frequent co-star Nick Cravat.
191 Shared a birthday with Luchino Visconti, who directed him in The Leopard (1963) and Conversation Piece (1974).
192 Luchino Visconti wanted to cast Laurence Olivier in the title role of the Italian prince in "The Leopard" (1963), but his producer overruled him. The producer insisted on a box office star to justify the lavish production's high budget and essentially forced Visconti to accept Burt Lancaster. A decade later, the two Oscar-winning actors competed again for the role of another Italian prince, Mafia chieftain Don Corleone, in "The Godfather" (1972), ultimately losing out to Marlon Brando.
193 Was considered for the role of Jason Colby in The Colbys (1985).
194 One of the very few humanitarian causes he publicly associated himself with was AIDS research. In 1985 he read out a letter from Rock Hudson announcing he was dying of AIDS, although there was later some controversy as to whether the letter had been written by Rock or his secretary (in a 2010 Paley Center for Media documentary about gay visibility on TV, writer Bruce Vilanch said that he had written the letter at Hudson's request). This was at a Hollywood dinner to raise awareness, which only a very few stars such as Elizabeth Taylor and Burt Reynolds dared attend. In 1988 there was a poster of Lancaster holding a rose and a caption urging people to be careful.
195 He was not close friends with Kirk Douglas as was often perceived. The closeness of their friendship was largely fabricated by the publicity-wise Douglas, while, in reality, they were very competitive with each other and sometimes privately expressed a mutual personal disdain despite a mutual respect for their acting talents.
196 Lancaster lost out on two roles he lobbied for to Marlon Brando (roles that helped make Brando a legend): that of Stanley Kowalski in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' (1951) and that of Don Vito Corleone in 'The Godfather' (1972).
197 He and Kirk Douglas acted together in 7 movies: Victory at Entebbe (1976), Tough Guys (1986), Seven Days in May (1964), The List of Adrian Messenger (1963), I Walk Alone (1948), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) and The Devil's Disciple (1959)
198 Suffered his first heart attack during the making of Cattle Annie and Little Britches (1981) in 1979.
199 He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6801 Hollywood Blvd.
200 During World War II, he served as a member of the Special Services branch, entertaining troops. He was stationed in Italy for much of the war.
201 Was named the #19 greatest actor on the 50 Greatest Screen Legends by the American Film Institute
202 In July 1965, United Artists made a settlement with Lancaster to end is association with his production company, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster, which had financially floundered in the late 1950s due to a few flops and exorbitant spending, and wound up operations in 1959. The payoff amount was $920,954.85, approximately $5,223,000 in 2003 dollars. In 1964, part of the proposed settlement with UA had been for Lancaster to star in Khartoum (1966) but that role eventually was played by Charlton Heston.
203 Turned down a $1-million offer to appear in the remake of Ben-Hur (1959). If he had accepted the offer, he would have beaten both Elizabeth Taylor (Cleopatra (1963)) as the first female star and Marlon Brando (The Fugitive Kind (1960)) as the first male star, to breach that million-dollar threshold.
204 Had tried to raise financing for four years for Hector Babenco's film of Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), based on the novel by Manuel Puig, after Babenco gave him the novel in 1981 at the NY Film Critics Society Ceremony. Lancaster was to have played the role of Molina, the gay hairdresser who shares a cell with Valentin, a political prisoner. However, Lancaster had a heart attack in June 1983, and subsequently a quadruple-bypass operation, and at the age of 70, he was essentially uninsurable. He had to withdraw from roles in Maria's Lovers (1984), Gorky Park (1983), Firestarter (1984) and the TV mini-series A.D. (1985). The film was later made for less than $1 million with William Hurt in the role Lancaster wanted to play. Hurt won a Best Actor Oscar as Molina.
205 Was cast in Old Gringo (1989) but was informed by Columbia when he arrived in Mexico City for rehearsals in December 1987 that he was being replaced with Gregory Peck, as the insurance for him was too high. He sued Columbia for his $1.5-million fee, and made an out-of-court settlement.
206 Helped pay for the defense of Private Billy Dean Smith, an African American soldier accused of 'fragging' two officers in Vietnam in 1971. Lancaster gave $3,000 to his defense attorneys to hire ballistics experts to testify at his court-martial. Smith was acquitted.
207 An unabashed political liberal, chairman of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California and an active campaigner for George McGovern in the 1972 Presidential election, Lancaster was one of the 575 people named on President Richard Nixon's 1973 "Enemies List," along with fellow actors Gene Hackman and Paul Newman, "Playboy" magazine publisher Hugh M. Hefner and TV producer Norman Lear.
208 Turned down the lead in Patton (1970) due to his anti-Vietnam War sympathies, but actively campaigned for the title role in "Patton" screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola's next movie, The Godfather (1972). He offered to do a screen test for the role of Don Corleone, and even though Paramount brass was interested in casting him, Coppola wanted Marlon Brando, and got him after Brando made his own "screen-test" (actually a video Coppola shot of him improvising a makeup for the old Don). Both George C. Scott and Brando won, and refused, Oscars for the roles.
209 A self-described atheist, Lancaster had turned down the role in the remake of Ben-Hur (1959) played by Charlton Heston, but followed in Heston's footsteps when he played the title role in Moses the Lawgiver (1974), the $5-million TV epic produced by Britain's ATV-ITC and Italy's RAI Television. When a reporter asked him if he was following in Heston's sandal-clad steps, Lancaster replied, "If Charlton was trapped in Biblical films, it was his own fault - he accepted the limitation." Though Lancaster claimed he was an atheist, some of his friends doubted him.
210 His first TV role was a guest appearance on Sesame Street (1969) in 1969, reciting the alphabet.
211 Told Bruce Davison, his co-star in Ulzana's Raid (1972), of a practical joke he played on Kirk Douglas, who was several inches shorter than Lancaster: "I'll never forget the time we were getting ready for our big two-shot and I hid his lifts on him. He was so pissed!"
212 He made a great deal of money from Airport (1970), which was a huge hit, due to a 10% profit participation once the movie hit $50 million. (the film grossed $45.3 million in North America alone). Lancaster said that the movie was "the worst piece of junk ever made."
213 In January 1980, he almost died during a routine operation to remove his gallbladder, when the operation, which should have lasted five hours, turned into an 11-hour ordeal. After the organ was removed, a team of doctors worked to repair an unusually small channel from the gallbladder to the intestines, although Lancaster later told a friend that a doctor had accidentally cut into a valve. A doctor reportedly got down on the floor to pray for the actor's life. Lancaster was in intensive care for 48-hours after the operation.
214 Was forced by United Artists to make four films for $150,000 a picture in the 1960s: The Young Savages (1961), Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), The Train (1964) and The Hallelujah Trail (1965) rather than his normal fee of $750,000, because of cost overruns at his production company, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster, for which he was personally responsible.
215 Allegedly showed up at a Hollywood Oscar party in the late 1950s wearing a G-string and spray-painted gold, resembling an Academy Award statuette after a similar stunt had been done by Rock Hudson and Vera-Ellen.
216 After placing tenth place in the Motion Picture Herald poll of most popular box-office stars in 1962, he dropped to 18th place in 1963 and never again appeared on the list.
217 Came up with $150,000 of his own money to complete Go Tell the Spartans (1978) after the production ran out of money with five days left to shoot. The shooting schedule already had been pared from 40 to 31 days to save money.
218 His son Bill Lancaster's screenplay for The Bad News Bears (1976) was based on his experience being coached by his father. Bill had been disabled by polio as a child, and according to friend Joel Douglas - the son of Kirk Douglas - the Tatum O'Neal character in the film, the odd kid out, was Bill. The coach played by Walter Matthau was based on Burt, who was known for his grumpiness.
219 Robert Altman wanted Lancaster for the role of Ned Buntline in Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976) because he had the "stature" of a great movie star but was "able to play that as a kind of bullshitter", which was what Altman conceived the character to be: "He understood totally the bullshit factor and what he was playing." Buntline, a real-life writer of nickel Westerns, had invented Buffalo Bill Cody as a western hero; Altman knew that Lancaster had invented himself as a star, a new kind of star that had revolutionized the movies in the 1950s.
220 Despite his enduring stardom, he surprisingly only placed in Quigley Publications' Top 10 Poll of Money-Making Stars twice: #4 in 1956 and #10 in 1963. The annual poll of movie exhibitors ranks the top stars in terms of box-office drawing power. Even more surprisingly, his friend and co-star Kirk Douglas never made the list during his career.
221 Felt intimidated by co-star Montgomery Clift on the set of From Here to Eternity (1953) due to Clift's great talent.
222 Until undergoing emergency quadruple heart bypass surgery in 1983, he maintained the fantastic physical health he attained as an acrobat in his youth. He impressed many who knew him with his apparently enormous strength.
223 He was an infamous ladies man in Hollywood, which eventually irritated his wife, Norma, enough for her to leave him.
224 He admitted that an odd thing always happened to him on a movie set. He would complain about everything, sometimes very loudly. By the end of the shoot however, the crews loved him and hated to see him go, despite his complaints. He never understood why that happened.
225 One of his demands was that he have a high bar set up on sets and locations so he could perform acrobatics and stay in shape.
226 He was voted the 39th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
227 In 1947 he was offered the role of Stanley Kowalski in the original Broadway production of "A Streetcar Named Desire" after first choice John Garfield was rejected due to his demands for a ownership percentage of the play. He turned down the role that went to Marlon Brando and made him a legend.
228 Known for his liberal political sympathies, he was one of the Hollywood movie stars, along with Marlon Brando, Sammy Davis Jr., Charlton Heston, Judy Garland, Eartha Kitt, Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier and Paul Newman, who participated in Martin Luther King's March on Washington in August 1963. He flew home from Europe, where he was making a film, to participate. He was a financial supporter of King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
229 Descended from Irish Protestants from Ulster who emigrated to the United States in the 1880s.
230 According to Kate Buford in her biography "Burt Lancaster: An American Life," he felt competitive with Marlon Brando, who achieved stardom playing Stanley Kowalski on Broadway, a role Lancaster turned down. A Top 10 box-office success in the early 1960s, it was this sense of competition with Brando, who was known as both an actor's actor and a major movie star, that led Lancaster to plunge into art films and riskier fare such as Luchino Visconti's The Leopard (1963), in order to prove himself as an actor and be known as an artist rather than just a movie star. After this refocusing of his career, he slipped out of the Top 10 and never again was a major box office attraction.
231 Son Jimmy was diagnosed as schizophrenic.
232 5 children: James Stephen "Jimmy" (born June 30, 1946), William "Billy" (born in November, 1947), Susan Elizabeth (born July 5, 1949), Joanna Mari (born in July, 1951) and Sighle (born in 1954).
233 Was Cecil B. DeMille's first choice to play "Samson" in Samson and Delilah (1949).
234 Suffered a severe stroke while visiting actor Dana Andrews, who was suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Lancaster remained hospitalized until February 1991, and incapacitated and unable to speak until his death in October, 1994. [November 1990]
235 Was a big fan of the silent film The Unknown (1927), probably partially because the movie took place in a circus, and Burt himself spent a lot of time early in his life in a circus. He once said that no scene in any movie affected him as emotionally as the one in this movie in which Lon Chaney learns that Joan Crawford does not love him.
236 Father of actor/writer Bill Lancaster.
237 Started out as a circus performer.
238 Ranked #85 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
239 Graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in New York
240 Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#100).


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Go Tell the Spartans 1978 Maj. Asa Barker
The Island of Dr. Moreau 1977 Dr. Paul Moreau
Twilight's Last Gleaming 1977 Gen. Lawrence Dell
The Cassandra Crossing 1976 Colonel Stephen Mackenzie
Victory at Entebbe 1976 TV Movie Shimon Peres
Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson 1976 The Legend Maker (Ned Buntline)
1900 1976 Alfredo Berlinghieri the Elder
Ali the Fighter 1975 Narrator
Moses the Lawgiver 1974-1975 TV Mini-Series Moses
Conversation Piece 1974 Il Professore
The Midnight Man 1974 Jim Slade
Executive Action 1973 James Farrington
Scorpio 1973 Cross
Ulzana's Raid 1972 McIntosh
Valdez Is Coming 1971 Valdez
Lawman 1971 Bannock Marshal Jared Maddox
Airport 1970 Mel Bakersfeld
The Gypsy Moths 1969 Mike Rettig
Castle Keep 1969 Maj. Abraham Falconer
The Swimmer 1968 Ned Merrill
The Scalphunters 1968 Joe Bass
The Professionals 1966 Dolworth
The Hallelujah Trail 1965 Col. Thaddeus Gearhart
The Train 1964 Labiche
Seven Days in May 1964 Gen. James Mattoon Scott
The List of Adrian Messenger 1963 Cameo ((as animal rights protester)
The Leopard 1963 Prince Don Fabrizio Salina
A Child Is Waiting 1963 Dr. Matthew Clark
Birdman of Alcatraz 1962 Robert Franklin Stroud
Judgment at Nuremberg 1961 Dr. Ernst Janning
The Young Savages 1961 Hank Bell
Elmer Gantry 1960 Elmer Gantry
The Unforgiven 1960 Ben Zachary
The Devil's Disciple 1959 The Rev. Anthony Anderson
Separate Tables 1958 John Malcolm
Run Silent Run Deep 1958 Lt. Jim Bledsoe
Sweet Smell of Success 1957 J.J. Hunsecker
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral 1957 Wyatt Earp
The Rainmaker 1956 Bill Starbuck
Trapeze 1956 Mike Ribble
The Rose Tattoo 1955 Alvaro Mangiacavallo
The Kentuckian 1955 Elias Wakefield (Big Eli)
Vera Cruz 1954 Joe Erin
Apache 1954 Massai
His Majesty O'Keefe 1954 Capt. David Dion O'Keefe / Narrator
Three Sailors and a Girl 1953 Marine (uncredited)
From Here to Eternity 1953 Sgt. Milton Warden
South Sea Woman 1953 Master Gunnery Sgt. James O'Hearn
Come Back, Little Sheba 1952 Doc Delaney
The Crimson Pirate 1952 Capt. Vallo (The Crimson Pirate)
Ten Tall Men 1951 Sergeant Mike Kincaid
Jim Thorpe -- All-American 1951 Jim Thorpe
Vengeance Valley 1951 Owen Daybright
Mister 880 1950 Steve Buchanan
The Flame and the Arrow 1950 Dardo Bartoli
Rope of Sand 1949 Mike Davis
Criss Cross 1949 Steve Thompson
Kiss the Blood Off My Hands 1948 William Earle 'Bill' Saunders
Sorry, Wrong Number 1948 Henry J. Stevenson
All My Sons 1948 Chris Keller
I Walk Alone 1947 Frankie Madison
Desert Fury 1947 Tom Hanson
Brute Force 1947 Joe Collins
The Killers 1946 Ole 'Swede' Anderson
Separate But Equal 1991 TV Mini-Series John W. Davis
Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair 1990 TV Movie Leon Klinghoffer
The Phantom of the Opera 1990 TV Mini-Series Gérard Carrière
Field of Dreams 1989 Dr. Archibald 'Moonlight' Graham
Cops 1989 TV Series Announcer
I promessi sposi 1989 TV Mini-Series Cardinal Federigo Borromeo
The Jeweller's Shop 1988 The Jeweller
Rocket Gibraltar 1988 Levi Rockwell
Il giorno prima 1987 Dr. Herbert Monroe
Väter und Söhne - Eine deutsche Tragödie 1986 TV Mini-Series Geheimrat Carl Julius Deutz
Tough Guys 1986 Harry Doyle
Barnum 1986 TV Movie Phineas Taylor 'P.T.' Barnum
On Wings of Eagles 1986 TV Mini-Series Lieutenant Colonel Arthur E. 'Bull' Simons
Little Treasure 1985 Delbert Teschemacher
Scandal Sheet 1985 TV Movie Harold Fallen
The Osterman Weekend 1983 Maxwell Danforth
Local Hero 1983 Felix Happer
Marco Polo 1982 TV Mini-Series Teobaldo Visconti - Pope Gregory X
Verdi 1982 TV Mini-Series Narrator in American version / Narrator
La pelle 1981 Gen. Mark Clark
Cattle Annie and Little Britches 1981 Bill Doolin
Atlantic City 1980 Lou
Zulu Dawn 1979 Col. Durnford

Producer

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Midnight Man 1974 producer
Ulzana's Raid 1972 producer - uncredited
Valdez Is Coming 1971 executive producer - uncredited
The Scalphunters 1968 producer - uncredited
The Unforgiven 1960 co-producer - uncredited
Take a Giant Step 1959 executive producer
The Devil's Disciple 1959 co-executive producer - uncredited
Sweet Smell of Success 1957 executive producer - uncredited
The Bachelor Party 1957 producer - uncredited
Trapeze 1956 producer - uncredited
Marty 1955 producer - uncredited
Vera Cruz 1954 co-producer - uncredited
Apache 1954 producer - uncredited
The Crimson Pirate 1952 producer - uncredited

Miscellaneous

Miscellaneous

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Unforgiven 1960 presents - as Hecht Hill and Lancaster
Separate Tables 1958 presenter - as Lancaster
Sweet Smell of Success 1957 presenter - as Lancaster
Trapeze 1956 presenter

Director

Director

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Midnight Man 1974
The Kentuckian 1955
His Majesty O'Keefe 1954 uncredited

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The 43rd Annual Academy Awards 1971 TV Special performer: "Thank You Very Much"
The 30th Annual Academy Awards 1958 TV Special performer: "It's Great Not To Be Nominated"
The Rainmaker 1956 performer: "She'll Be Coming 'Round the Mountain" - uncredited

Writer

Writer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Midnight Man 1974

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The New Bike 2009 Short acknowledgment
Kiss of the Spider Woman 1985 special thanks
Race to Oblivion 1982 Video documentary short very special thanks
King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis 1970 Documentary particular thanks for contributing their talents

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
L'inganno 2013 Documentary short Himself
Luchino Visconti 1999 Documentary Himself
Our Century 1993 TV Series documentary Himself - Narrator
Benny Carter: Symphony in Riffs 1989 Documentary Himself - Narrator
5th Annual TV Academy Hall of Fame 1989 TV Special Himself
A Conversation with Dinah 1989 TV Series Himself (1990)
The Princess Grace Foundation Special Gala Tribute to Cary Grant 1988 TV Movie Himself
Dawn's Early Light: Ralph McGill and the Segregated South 1988 TV Movie documentary Himself
Legacy of the Hollywood Blacklist 1987 TV Movie documentary Host / Narrator
Happy 100th Birthday, Hollywood 1987 TV Special documentary Himself
The American Academy of Dramatic Arts Annual Tribute: A Salute to Kirk Douglas 1987 TV Movie Himself - Host
Enkel 1986 TV Movie documentary Himself
Fame, Fortune and Romance 1986 TV Series Himself
Circus of the Stars #10 1985 TV Special documentary Himself - Host
The 1st Annual Commitment to Life Awards 1985 TV Special Himself
The 57th Annual Academy Awards 1985 TV Special documentary Himself - Presenter: Best Original Screenplay & Best Adapted Screenplay
Sherrill Milnes: An All Star Gala 1985 TV Special Host
Olympic Gala 1984 TV Special documentary Himself - Guest
The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts 1983 TV Special documentary Himself
James Bond: The First 21 Years 1983 TV Movie documentary Himself
The South Bank Show 1983 TV Series documentary
The 54th Annual Academy Awards 1982 TV Special documentary Himself - Nominee: Best Actor in a Leading Role
I Love Liberty 1982 TV Special Himself
Night of 100 Stars 1982 TV Special Himself
The 7th Los Angeles Film Critics Awards 1982 TV Special Himself
Race to Oblivion 1982 Video documentary short Himself, host, narrator
The Bafta Awards 1982 TV Special Himself - Winner: Best Actor in a Motion Picture and Presenter: Best Film
Arthur Miller on Home Ground 1979 TV Movie documentary Himself
America 2-Night 1978 TV Series Himself
The Unknown War 1978 TV Mini-Series documentary Himself - Host and Narrator
Exploring the Unknown 1977 Documentary Narrator
The 19th Annual TV Week Logie Awards 1977 TV Special Himself
Twilight's Last Gleaming: The Dynamics of Controversy 1977 Documentary short Himself
Bertolucci secondo il cinema 1976 TV Movie documentary
The 2nd Annual People's Choice Awards 1976 TV Special Himself - Presenter
The Mike Douglas Show 1971-1975 TV Series Himself - Actor
The Fighters 1974 Documentary Himself
November 22, 1963: In Search of an Answer 1973 Documentary short Himself
Cinema 1972 TV Series documentary Himself
Salute to Oscar Hammerstein II 1972 TV Special Himself
The 43rd Annual Academy Awards 1971 TV Special Himself - Performer & Presenter: Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
Fight of the Century 1971 TV Movie Himself - Commentator
The David Frost Show 1969-1971 TV Series Himself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 1966-1971 TV Series Himself / Himself - Guest
King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis 1970 Documentary Himself
Sesame Street 1969-1970 TV Series Himself
Jenny Is a Good Thing 1969 Documentary short Narrator
The Joey Bishop Show 1969 TV Series Himself
The 41st Annual Academy Awards 1969 TV Special Himself - Presenter & Performer
The Sky Divers 1969 Documentary short Himself
U.S. Water Polo 1968 Documentary Host / Narrator
The Merv Griffin Show 1968 TV Series Himself
The City of Gods 1968 Documentary Narrator (English version, voice)
All About People 1967 Documentary short Narrator (voice)
The 38th Annual Academy Awards 1966 TV Special Himself - Recalling His Award: Pre-Recorded
Handle with Care 1965 Short documentary Narrator
The Ed Sullivan Show 1953-1965 TV Series Himself / Himself - Actor
Freedom Spectacular 1964 TV Movie Himself
Pariser Journal 1963 TV Series documentary Himself
The March in Washington 1963 Short Himself
The Jack Paar Tonight Show 1962 TV Series Himself
The Tonight Show 1962 TV Series Himself - Actor
The 34th Annual Academy Awards 1962 TV Special Himself - Presenter
At This Very Moment 1962 TV Special Himself - Host
The 33rd Annual Academy Awards 1961 TV Special Himself - Winner
The 31st Annual Academy Awards 1959 TV Special Himself - Performer: 'It's Alright With Us'
The 30th Annual Academy Awards 1958 TV Special Himself - Performer: 'It's Great Not to Be Nominated'
The Heart of Show Business 1957 Short Himself, Narrator
The Jackie Gleason Show 1957 TV Series Himself
Lux Video Theatre 1956 TV Series Himself - Intermission Guest
The 28th Annual Academy Awards 1956 TV Special Himself - Audience Member
Screen Snapshots: Playtime in Hollywood 1956 Documentary short Himself
Red Skelton Revue 1954 TV Series Himself
The Colgate Comedy Hour 1953 TV Series Himself
The Name's the Same 1953 TV Series Himself - Contestant
The Screen Director 1951 Short Himself (staged 'archive' footage) (uncredited)
Variety Girl 1947 Himself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Muhammad Ali: The Greatest 2016 TV Movie documentary Himself
Ochéntame... otra vez 2015 TV Series documentary Himself
Sinatra: All or Nothing at All 2015 TV Mini-Series documentary Himself
And the Oscar Goes To... 2014 TV Movie documentary Himself
Welcome to the Basement 2014 TV Series Steve Thompson
Dai nostri inviati: La Rai racconta la Mostra del cinema di Venezia 1980-1989 2013 TV Movie documentary Himself
The March 2013 TV Movie documentary Himself
A Night at the Movies: Hollywood Goes to Washington 2012 TV Movie documentary Farrington
L'ultimo gattopardo: Ritratto di Goffredo Lombardo 2010 Documentary Himself
Rock Hudson: Dark and Handsome Stranger 2010 Documentary Himself (uncredited)
House of Boys 2009 Himself - Actor / Activist
Hollywood sul Tevere 2009 Documentary Himself
L'enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot 2009 Documentary Himself (uncredited)
John le Carré 2008 Video documentary short
Thrilla in Manila 2008 TV Movie documentary Himself - Ring Announcer
Spisok korabley 2008 Documentary Lt. Jim Bledsoe
Oscar, que empiece el espectáculo 2008 TV Movie documentary Himself (uncredited)
20 to 1 2007 TV Series documentary Sgt. Milton Warden
Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project 2007 Documentary Lt. Jim Bledsoe
Chris & Don. A Love Story 2007 Documentary Himself
Luchino Visconti, le chemin de la recherche 2006 TV Movie documentary Himself
Corazón de... 2006 TV Series
Cineastas contra magnates 2005 Documentary Himself
Getaway 2005 TV Series 1st Sgt. Milton Warden
... A Father... A Son... Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 2005 TV Movie documentary Himself / Harry Doyle
Visconti 2002 TV Movie documentary Himself
The Definitive Elvis: The Hollywood Years - Part I: 1956-1961 2002 Video documentary Himself
Pulp Cinema 2001 Video documentary Himself
Ali-Frazier I: One Nation... Divisible 2000 TV Movie documentary Himself (uncredited)
Biography 1996-2000 TV Series documentary Steve Thompson / Elmer Gantry / Himself
American Masters 2000 TV Series documentary Himself
The Lady with the Torch 1999 Documentary Himself
Classified X 1998 TV Movie documentary Himself
... y otras mujeres de armas tomar 1998 TV Movie documentary Himself
Mahalia Jackson: The Power and the Glory 1997 Himself
A Century of Science Fiction 1996 Video documentary Himself
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies 1995 TV Movie documentary Frankie Madison, 'I Walk Alone' (uncredited)
The 67th Annual Academy Awards 1995 TV Special Himself (Memorial Tribute)
100 Years at the Movies 1994 TV Short documentary Himself
Kirk Douglas: Video Scrapbook 1994 Video documentary Himself
The Best of the Don Lane Show 1994 TV Movie Himself
La classe américaine 1993 TV Movie José
Oscar's Greatest Moments 1992 Video documentary Himself
Ca détourne 1992 TV Movie Captain Flirt
Barbara Stanwyck: Fire and Desire 1991 TV Movie documentary Himself
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid 1982 Swede Anderson
Michael Schanze: Sonne, Wind und weiße Segel 1979 TV Movie Der rote Korsar
America at the Movies 1976 Documentary Sgt. Milton Warden
Un sorriso, uno schiaffo, un bacio in bocca 1975
The Lords of Flatbush 1974 Himself - Actor in From Here to Eternity (uncredited)
The Dick Cavett Show 1971 TV Series Himself
Hollywood My Home Town 1965 Documentary Himself
Hollywood and the Stars 1964 TV Series Himself
The Ed Sullivan Show 1954-1963 TV Series Himself / On Set from Trapeze 1955
Hollywood: The Great Stars 1963 TV Movie documentary Himself (uncredited)
The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Story 1951 Documentary

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1995 In Memoriam Award Golden Boot Awards
1992 Life Achievement Award Screen Actors Guild Awards
1982 BAFTA Film Award BAFTA Awards Best Actor Atlantic City (1980)
1982 BSFC Award Boston Society of Film Critics Awards Best Actor Atlantic City (1980)
1982 Fotogramas de Plata Fotogramas de Plata Best Foreign Movie Performer (Mejor intérprete extranjero) Atlantic City (1980)
1982 NSFC Award National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA Best Actor Atlantic City (1980)
1981 David David di Donatello Awards Best Foreign Actor (Migliore Attore Straniero) Atlantic City (1980)
1981 KCFCC Award Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actor Atlantic City (1980)
1981 LAFCA Award Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards Best Actor Atlantic City (1980)
1981 NYFCC Award New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actor Atlantic City (1980)
1976 Fotogramas de Plata Fotogramas de Plata Best Foreign Movie Performer (Mejor intérprete extranjero) Gruppo di famiglia in un interno (1974)
1975 David David di Donatello Awards Best Foreign Actor (Migliore Attore Straniero) Gruppo di famiglia in un interno (1974)
1974 Career David David di Donatello Awards
1963 BAFTA Film Award BAFTA Awards Best Foreign Actor Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)
1962 Volpi Cup Venice Film Festival Best Actor Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)
1961 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Actor in a Leading Role Elmer Gantry (1960)
1961 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best Motion Picture Actor - Drama Elmer Gantry (1960)
1961 Golden Laurel Laurel Awards Top Male Star
1961 Golden Laurel Laurel Awards Top Male Dramatic Performance Elmer Gantry (1960)
1960 NYFCC Award New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actor Elmer Gantry (1960)
1958 Golden Laurel Laurel Awards Top Male Action Star Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)
1958 Star on the Walk of Fame Walk of Fame Motion Picture On 15 August 1958. At 6801 Hollywood Blvd.
1956 Silver Berlin Bear Berlin International Film Festival Best Actor Trapeze (1956)
1953 NYFCC Award New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Actor From Here to Eternity (1953)

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1991 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV The Phantom of the Opera (1990)
1984 BAFTA Film Award BAFTA Awards Best Supporting Actor Local Hero (1983)
1982 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Actor in a Leading Role Atlantic City (1980)
1982 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best Motion Picture Actor - Drama Atlantic City (1980)
1981 Genie Genie Awards Best Performance by a Foreign Actor Atlantic City (1980)
1968 Golden Laurel Laurel Awards Action Performance The Scalphunters (1968)
1965 Golden Laurel Laurel Awards Male Star 13th place.
1964 Golden Laurel Laurel Awards Top Male Star 15th place.
1964 Golden Laurel Laurel Awards Top Male Dramatic Performance Seven Days in May (1964)
1963 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Actor in a Leading Role Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)
1963 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best Motion Picture Actor - Drama Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)
1963 Golden Laurel Laurel Awards Top Male Star 7th place.
1962 Golden Laurel Laurel Awards Top Male Star 7th place.
1961 BAFTA Film Award BAFTA Awards Best Foreign Actor Elmer Gantry (1960)
1958 Golden Laurel Laurel Awards Top Male Star 8th place.
1957 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best Motion Picture Actor - Drama The Rainmaker (1956)
1955 Golden Lion Venice Film Festival The Kentuckian (1955)
1954 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Actor in a Leading Role From Here to Eternity (1953)

2nd place awards

2nd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1965 Golden Laurel Laurel Awards Action Performance The Train (1964)

3rd place awards

3rd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1963 Golden Laurel Laurel Awards Top Male Dramatic Performance Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

TitleSalary
Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977) $750,000
The Hallelujah Trail (1965) $150,000
The Train (1964) $150,000
Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) $150,000
The Young Savages (1961) $150,000
From Here to Eternity (1953) $120,000
Desert Fury (1947) $1,250 /week
Brute Force (1947) $45,000
The Killers (1946) $20,000
Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977) $750,000
The Hallelujah Trail (1965) $150,000
The Train (1964) $150,000
Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) $150,000
The Young Savages (1961) $150,000
From Here to Eternity (1953) $120,000
Desert Fury (1947) $1,250 /week
Brute Force (1947) $45,000
The Killers (1946) $20,000

#Quote
1 [In 1984 about his career] When I think of my least favorite, I think of Rope of Sand (1949). I did that thing under great duress. I hated it.
2 [on Go Tell the Spartans (1978)] One of the best scripts I've read and certainly the best I've had for myself in a few years.
3 Genius is a pretty dangerous thing to have. Genius is too erratic. It's better just to be talented.
4 [on working with Montgomery Clift on From Here to Eternity (1953)] The only time I was ever really afraid as an actor was that first scene with Clift. It was my scene, understand: I was the sergeant, I gave the orders, he was just a private under me. Well, when we started, I couldn't stop my knees from shaking. I thought they might have to stop because my trembling would show. I was afraid he was going to blow me right off the screen.
5 In my opinion, Shirley Booth is the finest actress I have ever worked with.
6 [on Kirk Douglas] We both came from, sort of, well, shall we say, humble beginnings. We were both young, brash, cocky, arrogant. We knew everything, were highly opinionated. We were invincible. Nobody liked us.
7 [on Montgomery Clift] He had so much power, so much concentration. Clift was a complicated man, there's no question about it. He was a very sweet man, Monty, very emotional.
8 [in 1985] If anyone should have gotten AIDS from an active sex life, it is me.
9 [in 1976] Whether you like it or not, when you're 62 you are fulfilled.
10 [on Kirk Douglas] Kirk would be the first to admit that he's difficult to work with - and I would be the second.
11 If I'm working with frightened people, I do tend to dominate them. I'm no doll, that's for sure.
12 [upon being offered Ben-Hur (1959)] I don't want to make this film. It's a piece of crap.
13 [advice to actor Bruce Davison, on the set of Ulzana's Raid (1972)] You try to please the director, and the cameraman and the soundman, and you're acting and acting and acting and by the time you come to your close-up, you've shot your wad. It's like making love to a woman: you can't try to come all at once, son. A bit of a tit here, a bit of an inner thigh there, and you have a performance!
14 I woke up one day a star. It was terrifying. Then I worked hard toward becoming a good actor.
15 We're all forgotten sooner or later. But not films. That's all the memorial we should need or hope for.
16 I don't know why Airport (1970) was nominated for any Oscars - it's the biggest piece of junk ever.
17 [speaking in 1983] Tits and sand - that's what we used to call sex and violence in Hollywood.
18 Life is to be lived within the limits of your knowledge and within the concept of what you would like to see yourself to be.
19 [on being a director] It's the best job in the picture business because when you're a director, you're God. And you know that's the best job in town.
20 Most people seem to think I'm the kind of guy who shaves with a blowtorch. Actually I'm bookish and worrisome.
21 [In 1984 about his career] When I think of my least favorite, I think of Rope of Sand (1949). I did that thing under great duress. I hated it.
22 [on Go Tell the Spartans (1978)] One of the best scripts I've read and certainly the best I've had for myself in a few years.
23 Genius is a pretty dangerous thing to have. Genius is too erratic. It's better just to be talented.
24 [on working with Montgomery Clift on From Here to Eternity (1953)] The only time I was ever really afraid as an actor was that first scene with Clift. It was my scene, understand: I was the sergeant, I gave the orders, he was just a private under me. Well, when we started, I couldn't stop my knees from shaking. I thought they might have to stop because my trembling would show. I was afraid he was going to blow me right off the screen.
25 In my opinion, Shirley Booth is the finest actress I have ever worked with.
26 [on Kirk Douglas] We both came from, sort of, well, shall we say, humble beginnings. We were both young, brash, cocky, arrogant. We knew everything, were highly opinionated. We were invincible. Nobody liked us.
27 [on Montgomery Clift] He had so much power, so much concentration. Clift was a complicated man, there's no question about it. He was a very sweet man, Monty, very emotional.
28 [in 1985] If anyone should have gotten AIDS from an active sex life, it is me.
29 [in 1976] Whether you like it or not, when you're 62 you are fulfilled.
30 [on Kirk Douglas] Kirk would be the first to admit that he's difficult to work with - and I would be the second.
31 If I'm working with frightened people, I do tend to dominate them. I'm no doll, that's for sure.
32 [upon being offered Ben-Hur (1959)] I don't want to make this film. It's a piece of crap.
33 [advice to actor Bruce Davison, on the set of Ulzana's Raid (1972)] You try to please the director, and the cameraman and the soundman, and you're acting and acting and acting and by the time you come to your close-up, you've shot your wad. It's like making love to a woman: you can't try to come all at once, son. A bit of a tit here, a bit of an inner thigh there, and you have a performance!
34 I woke up one day a star. It was terrifying. Then I worked hard toward becoming a good actor.
35 We're all forgotten sooner or later. But not films. That's all the memorial we should need or hope for.
36 I don't know why Airport (1970) was nominated for any Oscars - it's the biggest piece of junk ever.
37 [speaking in 1983] Tits and sand - that's what we used to call sex and violence in Hollywood.
38 Life is to be lived within the limits of your knowledge and within the concept of what you would like to see yourself to be.
39 [on being a director] It's the best job in the picture business because when you're a director, you're God. And you know that's the best job in town.
40 Most people seem to think I'm the kind of guy who shaves with a blowtorch. Actually I'm bookish and worrisome.

#Trademark
1 Very distinctive, clipped manner of speaking
2 Roles in westerns
3 His movies often reflected his very liberal political beliefs
4 A great physique, of which director John Frankenheimer said, "Nobody ever looked like Burt Lancaster in The Crimson Pirate (1952) ."
5 A killer smile, which he called "The Grin"
6 Very distinctive, clipped manner of speaking
7 Roles in westerns
8 His movies often reflected his very liberal political beliefs
9 A great physique, of which director John Frankenheimer said, "Nobody ever looked like Burt Lancaster in The Crimson Pirate (1952) ."
10 A killer smile, which he called "The Grin"

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