Burt Lancaster

Happy birthday to actor Burt Lancaster, born Nov. 2, 1913 in Manhattan, NY. Lancaster is one of Hollywood’s legendary stars, who not only forged an esteemed legacy as an actor, but also as a successful film producer.BurtLancaster Lancaster learned to act in the 1930s, in small local theater productions and also performed in the circus as part of an acrobatic duo until an injury sidelined him. During WWII, he entertained troops with the USO. After the war, Lancaster was cast in a Broadway play where he was discovered by Harold Hecht, a Hollywood agent who would later become a partner in Lancaster’s production company. Lancaster’s first film role was in the noir classic, The Killers (1946), with Ava Gardner. For the remainder of the decade, all of his roles would be in noir films: Brute Force (1947), Desert Fury (1947) (one of a handful of color films that are often classified as noir), I Walk Alone (1948), All My Sons (1948), Sorry, Wrong Number (1948), Kiss the Blood Off My Hands (1948), Criss Cross (1949), and Rope of Sand (1949). In the 1950s, Lancaster expanded his scope to star in a wide variety of movies, including westerns, war films, romances, adventure films, dramas, and also one more noir film, The Sweet Smell of Success (1957), with Tony Curtis. In 1960, he won the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Elmer Gantry in the film of the same name.  During his career, which continued through the 1980s, Lancaster appeared in over 70 films. His final role was in Field of Dreams (1989). Lancaster died of a heart attack in 1994 at age 80.

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