Volodymyr Palahniuk

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.

Volodymyr Palaniuk after we could pronounce his name.

Volodymyr Palaniuk after we could pronounce his name.

“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.

Tracy – Fannie Cranium’s Guide to Irreverent Wisdom


About Fannie Cranium

Writing since she could first hold a pen, Tracy Perkins formed her alter ego, "Fannie Cranium" at the suggestion of her husband. Tracy understands smiling makes people wonder what she’s been up to.
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26 Responses to Volodymyr Palahniuk

  1. wdydfae says:

    Blurbs fail me! Nice one!

    I always liked Jack Palance though I never followed his movies in detail, but I think the role I liked best was Bagdad Cafe.

    According to IMDB, Jack Palance did the narration for Horror of the Hungry Humongous Hungan.

  2. Reblogged this on Fannie Cranium's and commented:

    Jack Palance by any other name would be just as intimidating . . . this month’s contribution to the Blog of Funny Names.

  3. Arto says:

    Never thought about Jack Palance not being a real name. Classic Hollywood! Always hiding the good stuff behind the curtain.

    The one armed push up in your seventies is something to strive for. Personally if I could do one in my thirties that might be a good start.

    • Yes, there was a lot of ignore the man behind the curtain back then.

      As for one armed push ups when I’m in my seventies, I’d be happy to strive for two arms that can lift my food to my mouth. 😀

  4. kerbey says:

    What a clever post, and it certainly tops Milton Friedman, which sounds like many Hollywood agents/producers. I remember watching Jack do push-ups that night and thinking what a bad-a$$ he was. Certainly a less PC time, and he got to say what was on his mind. Jack Palance sure was a good call as far as renaming. It makes you wonder how far he would have gotten on the old name.

    • I’m with you Kerby, seeing Jack do those push-ups never left my memory banks. It was impressive. And it’s hard to say how far he would have gotten with his real name. Probably wouldn’t have been a problem today if he were coming up the ranks now.

  5. Dave says:

    So I have been the worst BoFN contributor over the past few weeks, but wow wow wow, amazingness Fannie! All it takes is the real name of one of the most “manly man” actors, and a little pugilism reference to pull me out of the woodwork! So much superness! I wonder if there’s any connection to Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club and many other not-too-PC books.

  6. My attempt to comment earlier on this post vanished, but what I said was your reference to “Wheel of Fortune” almost made me Palahniuk coffee out of my nose.

  7. ksbeth says:

    oh, i always loved him and will always remember that oscar acceptance performance )

  8. Pingback: Siblings: Season and Whip | The Blog of Funny Names

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