Friday, November 10, 2006

Requiescat in pacem

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.

LawDog

10 comments:

Phoenix Ravenflame said...

I heard on the news earlier tonight that he'd passed away, but I didn't know anything of his life story. I'd have never guessed about the surgery because I always thought he looked like he must have been a very attractive man when he was young. Thank you for telling us what a strong man he was.

Anonymous said...

I was very young but I remember Jack Palance as the gun fighter for hire in the TV series, "Have Gun, Will Travel." That is back when TV acutally made an effort to pitch honesty and right instead of wrong. He will be remembered by the baby boomers.

Rest in peace, sir.

Anonymous said...

"I was very young but I remember Jack Palance as the gun fighter for hire in the TV series, "Have Gun, Will Travel."

I think you're thinking of Richard Boone who played "Paladin". IIRC, he's been dead some years now. No, LawDog's talking about Jack Palance who played a good many roles, but was well known as the range detective badguy in the movie "Shane", and also as "Curly" in "City Slickers".

Cybrludite said...

Damn. Just damn. I'd have though the tough old SOB was gonna live forever. RIP, Jack.

Anonymous said...

I can remember him just a few years ago, on one of the late-night talk shows, doing a few one-armed push-ups. He must've been late 70's early 80's and he just dropped, in his natty clothes, and cranked them out.

Bless him.

Cindi

JPG said...

That was during the Academy Awards in 1992. He was being given his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in "City Slickers," when Mr. Palance, then 73, did the amazing display.

A man to respect for many reasons.
JPG

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the bio on him -- such an interesting life! Thank you also for this blog; it's great entertainment. :)

Lindalloo said...

I thought Jack Palance was a great actor. the kind of bad guy you loved to "fear" !! I also remember seeing the one-handed pushups on the awards show, then again on a late night talk show. He had plenty of "chutzpah".
Lindalloo

PA State Cop said...

Met him, Gentleman comes to mind. Resident of PA, Lived in the area around Hazelton. God Bless him.

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Is he distant relative of the novel author chuck Palaniuk ? there's few persons from the Palaniuk family in this world.