Strange roads lead to today’s post. My better half viewed old clips of Milton Friedman, a Nobel laureate in Economics, on YouTube. Which made me think, why not Milton Friedman for the BoFN. Then I noticed when Friedman died. November 16, 2006. Six days after one of my favorite character actors died—Volodymyr Palahniuk. Although his name nearly defies the Wheel of Fortune, “. . . I’ll start with R, S, T, L, N, Pat . . .“.
And I’m sure you’ve seen “Palahniuk” of him over the years, but you may know Volodymyr better by his stage name, Jack Palance.
“Jack” began his career as a pugilist, boxing his way to 15 consecutive victories—12 as knockouts. After loosing to the future heavy weight contender, Joe Baksi, he decided the pay did not cover the beatings. No take backsies from Baksi for young Jack see. The purses then were $200 and we’re not talking Coach.
WWII broke out about the same time as his boxing career ended, so he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps. He traded one type of fighting for another.
After the war he went to Stanford University. He quit school one credit shy of graduation to pursue his acting career on Broadway as an understudy to Brando in “A Street Car Named Desire”. He took over the role when Brando left for Hollywood.
Bless the University’s buttons, they saw fit to give Jack an honorary degree in 1995 for the work he finished in 1949. Giving meaning to the phrase, “Good things come to those who wait”.
And wait Jack did.
His acting career started in 1947. He was nominated for three Oscars. Sometimes acting careers get a little soggy in the middle. His work on Ripley’s Believe It or Not revitalized his acting career in the 80’s. Landing him the role of Curly in City Slickers in 1991. Four decades after he was first nominated, he won the little gold statue.
He perfected portraying the villain from westerns and melodrama to the more modern milieus such Tim Burton’s Batman and Tango and Cash.
If you’ve never seen his acceptance speech, but feel like doing one-armed push-ups with a then 72-year-old, take a walk on the wild side. A word to the wise, his language is a little on the salty side. I’ll have some fries with that.