Vladimir Ivanovich Palaniuk
18FEB1919 to 10NOV2006.
Born in Pennsylvania, of Ukrainian descent and son of a coal miner, Palaniuk worked in the coal mines until the 1930's when he started a career as a professional boxer. Using the professional name Jack Brazzo, Vladimir Palaniuk won 15 consecutive matches -- 12 by knockout -- until losing his 16th by decision.
World War 2 came knocking about that time; Vladimir joined the Army Air Corp and began training as a B-24 pilot. During training, an engine failed on his bird, and he suffered severe facial injuries and burns either during the bail-out process or when the bomber crashed -- I've heard both stories.
He required extensive plastic surgery -- resulting in a distinctive gaunt look -- and was discharged from the US military in 1944.
Not one to mope, Vladimir graduated from Stanford University in 1947 with a B.A. in Drama and pretty much instantly wound up on Broadway.
Three years after his Broadway debut, Vladimir Palaniuk was discovered by Hollywood.
Not content with a commanding screen presence, Palaniuk painted and sold landscape art, wrote and published poetry, spoke Ukrainian, Russian, Italian, Spanish, French and English.
Most folks knew him as Jack Palance.
Rest in peace, sir.