Biography of Burt Lancaster (1913-1994)

Actor, director and U.S. producer, whose full name was Burton Stephen Lancaster, born in East Harlem (New York) on November 2, 1913, and died in Los Angeles (California) on October 20, 1994.


Burt Lancaster was the youngest of the four children of the marriage formed by James Lancaster, post supervisor, and Irish. He/She went to public school number 83 and then Witt High School. At the age of sixteen, was fitness classes at the University of New York and basketball at the Settlement House, while training with the trapeze artist Nick Cravat, which, later, formed a pair as travelling Acrobat in two memorable movies of the adventure genre, the Falcon and the arrow and the fearsome mocking.

In 1932, both formed an acrobatic that toured the country in Circus Circus (although basically, at Kay Brother Circus). Years later, during the war, served in the Fifth Army, service for the entertainment of the troops fighting overseas. Degree in 1946, he/she returned to New York and, after a brief stint in the theatre, it was discovered by Mark Hellinger, who led him to the Universal to interpret, in the masterpiece of Robert Siodmak, outlaws (1946), a failed boxer who is caught in a mystery of death and seduced by the priceless charms of an Ava Gardner, never so beautifulinlaid in a black satin dress insinuante. Thanks to its characters, damn, that beasties eroticism from every pore, the two together joined the filming, and led head movie to the mythology of film noir.

It followed unfolding swimmingly in the black path, scaring Bárbara Stanwyck in a magnificent film by Anatole Litvak, voices of death (1948). In the embrace of death (1949), Robert Siodmak, was doomed by the influx of a woman (Carlo Ivonne), to participate in a senseless blow, a perfect robbery at a racetrack, taking as an accomplice precisely the new companion of the woman, a dangerous gangster, always disturbing Dan Duryea. Lancaster returned to incorporate a physically gifted man, but romantically weak. It will end up being handled by a woman (as in outlaws), obfuscated by love or sexual desire.

Immediately, Lancaster interpreted the DART of the Falcon and the arrow (1950), Jacques Tourneur, and pirate of the fearsome mocking (1952), Robert Siodmak. In the first, Lancaster is uncovered, being the brave and cheerful medieval Italian hero fighting for his son, the love of a Virginia Mayo, with lips in Technicolor, and the freedom of their land, Lombardy. The second is a gallardo pirate in one of the classic pieces of the adventure genre, not to mention the film in general. Both had an old friend, Claymore, courtship and fall of candles, keep you shoulders: his silent partner Nick Cravat.

In the middle of these two classics, went, for the first time to the American West, the hand, interestingly, a great expert in the adventure, Richard Thorpe, in the Valley of vengeance (1951) his first western. But he/she returned three years later with force in two master samples of the genre. Earlier, in 1953, most famous bath in the history of cinema, was perhaps because he/she did it with a beautiful Deborah Kerr(straitened in a swimsuit Shaffner for the time), in the role more erotic and seductive of his entire career. The film, from here to eternity by Fred Zinnemann, became a huge success, getting eight Oscars (including best picture), and Burt Lancaster was impressed with his sober interpretation, which earned him the first prize of critique of New York and a candidate for the Oscar.

Burt Lancaster was also the first actor of his generation that realized in time of the fragility of the system of large studies and launched to produce on their own. He/She founded, in 1947, along with the famous screenwriter Ben Hecht Norma Production, which, then, with the addition of James Hill, was renamed Hecht-Hill-Lancaster. The fruits, for example, came with Apache (1954), by Robert Aldrich, one of the first allegations on behalf of battered and exterminated Indian race, and a magnificent performance from a bituminized Lancaster for the occasion; and, above all, in that same year, with Veracruz, own Aldrich. Lancaster incorporated a character, somewhat frustrated, with killer smile, lifestyler, as detestable as charming, otherwise than Gary Cooper, fellow, more peaceful, fair, full of moral principles, and reflective. Les was not forced to live together the same adventures, the same epic, in an almost epic interpretative duel. The Spanish actress Sara Montiel, sported its wonderful Palm between these two monsters of the screen.

Was launched at the address with the man from Kentucky (1955), which did not provide anything new career (come back to repeat it, many years later, in the man of midnight - 1974-, that the same fate); and, that same year, provided a superb tranquillity to his character of carefree Italian in the rose tattoo, by Daniel Mann, with Anna Magnani, as the eponymous work by Tennessee Williams. He/She traveled, a year later, to Europe, to commemorate old acrobatics on Trapeze, Carol Reed, a charming Ribbon of Trapeze artists throwing in a triple somersault without network. These daredevils of the air were, besides Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis and a wonderful Gina Lollobrigida.

In 1957, he/she returned to the West playing the Wyatt Earp of duel of Titans, by John Sturges, a new version of the old theme of the clash between the Clanton and Earp in O.K. Corral, already masterfully led by John Ford, in the passion of the strong (1946). On this occasion, Dimitri Tiomkin composed a catchy and original melody that became very familiar.

The Oscar came with the fire and the word (1960), Richard Brooks, which gives life, sublimely, under the guise of altruism and generosity, to a fake evangelist who, with the blessing of religion, manipulated, not without a certain joy, the credulous and traumatized masses through the mythical blackmail of hell.

With winners or losers? (1961), by Stanley Kramer, began a series of humanitarian and tender interpretations. It was followed by their encouraging work for man of Alcatraz (1962) by John Frankenheimer, an interesting reconstruction of the conversion of a criminal in a prestige ornithologist; and it ended with Angels without Paradise (1963), a touching film by John Cassavetes, about children with problems relating to others.

That same year he/she went to Italy to put the orders of Luchino Visconti. Lancaster was sublime as Prince don Fabrizio Salina, one of the most beautiful, fresh and romantic films in the history of the cinema, as well as historical and political: the Leopard. With Visconti, eleven years later, he/she returned to be splendid in confidences (1974). Lancaster is reincarnated in Visconti, in that loving, also Professor of literature and painting, he/she feels get death, and that is torn between personal anguish and disappointment at having to share the place with young bourgeois dissolute and disorderly, unable to feel, or art, or life. In Italy, it still had to get another mythical title. This time the work of Bernardo Bertolucci: Novecento (1976), which, like the Leopard and confidences, failed again among his countrymen.

Throughout the 1970s, he/she appeared in the film that put fashion disasters, Airport (1970) from George Seaton products, and, later, in another that helped reinforce the gender, the bridge of Cassandra (George Pan Cosmatos, 1977). He/She offered one of his best performances in the revenge of Ulzana (1972), an impressive western by Robert Aldrich, and also intervened in the important Zulu Dawn (1979) overproduction, Douglas Hickox.

It was required, by its great presence, for three films of cult in the 1980s: A great type (1983), Bill Forsyth, where he/she plays a Tycoon obsessed with contemplating an aurora borealis, so it intends to buy an entire people; Skin (1981), Liliana Cavani; and Atlantic City (1980), Louis Malle, for which returned to be nominated to the Oscar thanks to his memorable interpretation. Still, in 1989, it was a luxury to see in this little gem of a film that is field of dreams by Phil Alden Robinson, playing a doctor who has taken the ways that life has offered, but that has never forgotten what Baseball has meant for this.

Burt Lancaster's film career has gone through different stages: in the years fifty was one of the most illustrious acrobats of the adventure film; in the 1960s, rebelled the most die-hard global cult actor; in the 1970s was a safe asset for the production in which participated, and in the 1980s enjoyed a glorious maturity.

It scares see impeccable Filmography of actor unrepeatable, capable of jumping up a horse, go through an Italian Aristocrat or swing to 25 metres in height. Lancaster has not stopped surprise to generations of moviegoers who have been knowing him through his films. When it was listed as an actor of limited registration, Lancaster gave quantity and quality, and knew how to silence tongues that allotted him few weapons to succeed. And Lancaster triumphed.

It has been a competent professional in everything you did (no forget that it was also for television was a unforgettable Moses, in the series of the same title), for more than four decades devoted to film. Its characters are already, today, immortal names that have been in the retina of the film buff in love, from its fearsome mocking until their Prince Salina, from DART to the Tracker Ulzana, Alcatraz or in Atlantic City, on a Trapeze or the dust of the O.K. Corral. Burt Lancaster, with his mocking smile or her melancholic gesture, hardly found parallel to the other side of the screen, in front of a camera.


As director:1955: the man from Kentucky (and actor). 1974: man of midnight (and screenplay, production and actor).

As productor:1952: The First Time.1955: Marty. 1957: The Bachelor Party. 1959: Take a Giant Step. 1960: Summer of the Seventeenth Doll.

As actor:1946: outlaws. 1947: Brute; force Desert Fury; Returning to life; Variaty Girl. 1948: All my sons; Voices of death; Blood on your hands. 1949: The embrace of death; Rope of sand. 1950: The flame and the arrow. The 880 case. 1951: Jim Thorpe-All American; Ten brave; The Valley of vengeance. 1952: Back, little Sheba; The fearsome mocking (and production). 1953: from here to eternity; Three sailors and a girl; His Majesty of the South seas; Hurricane of emotions. 1954: Apache; Veracruz.1955: The rose tattoo. 1956: Trapeze. 1957: The phony; Duel of the Titans; Blackmail on Broadway. 1958: Tables separated; Torpedo. 1959: The disciple of the devil. 1960: The fire and the word; Those who do not forgive. 1961: Victors or vanquished?; Wild youth. 1962: The man of Alcatraz. 1963: Angels without paradise; The Leopard; The last one in the list. 1964: Seven days of May. 1965: The battle of the hills of whisky; The train. 1966: The professionals. 1968: Path of vengeance; The swimmer. 1969: The fortress; Daredevils of the air. 1970: Airport; King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis (narration only). 1971: on behalf of the law; That Valdez is coming! 1972: Ulzana revenge. 1973: Executive action; Scorpio. 1975: You confidences. 1976: Novecento; Buffalo Bill. 1977: Cassandra bridge; The island of Dr. Moreau. Alert: missiles. 1978: The patrol. 1979: Zulu dawn; The legend of Bill Doolin. 1980: Atlantic City. 1981: The skin. 1983: A great type; Key Omega. 1985: Little Treasure. 1986: Another city, another law. 1987: Il Giorno prima. 1988: Rocket Gibraltar. 1989: Field of dreams.

Works for the television:1950: Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis Show (for The Colgate Comedy Hour). 1972: "Sesame Street" (episode). 1973: Moses. 1975: Ali the Man: Ali the Fighter.1976: victory in Entebe 1977: Psychic Phenomena: Exploring the Unknown. 1978: The Unknown War. 1979: Arthur Miller on Home Ground 1985: Scandal Sheet 1986: On Wings of Eagles; Sins of the Fathers 1988: Dawn completo Early Light: Ralph McGill and the Segregated South 1989: The Jeweller completo Shop 1990: The Phanton of the Opera; Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair 1991: Separate But Equal

J. C. Paredes