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Burt Lancaster

Burton Stephen Lancaster (November 2, 1913 – October 20, 1994), was an American actor and producer. Initially known for playing tough guys with a tender heart, he went on to achieve success with more complex and challenging roles over a 45-year career in film and, later, television. He was a four-time nominee for the Academy Award for Best Actor (winning once), and he also won two BAFTA Awards and one Golden Globe Award for Best Lead Actor. The American Film Institute ranks Lancaster as #19 of the greatest male stars of classic Hollywood cinema.


From Here to Eternity (1954)

The Rose Tattoo (1956)

Separate Tables (1959)

Elmer Gantry (1961)

Judgment at Nuremberg (1962)

Airport (1971)

Atlantic City (1981)

Field of Dreams (1990)


Burt performed as a circus acrobat in the 1930s.

Both Burt and actress Ava Gardner were launched into stardom in their first film together, The Killers.

Burt frequently spoke out in support of racial and other minorities. As a result, he was often a target of FBI investigations. He was named in President Nixon's 1973 "Enemies List", along with Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Gregory Peck, Barbara Streisand, Gene Hackman, Jane Fonda, Bill Cosby and many others.

He and his wife, Norma, hosted a fundraiser for Martin Luther King Jr. ahead of the historic March on Washington in 1963. Burt attended the march and was one of the speakers.

In 1995, Burt was named 100 in Empire Magazine's 100 Sexiest Stars in Film History.

One of Burt's demands on set was to have a high bar set up so he could perform acrobatics and stay in shape.

Burt died the very same year as his long-time friend, Nick Cravat, fellow circus acrobat partner and frequent co-star.

Never a man to forget who he was, Burt turned down the lead in Ben-Hur and The Robe (he was a self-described atheist) and Patton, due to his anti-Vietnam War sympathies.

A late-comer to the Hollywood spotlight, Burt was nearly 33 when he starred in his first feature film, The Killers.

Burt's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was the first star to be placed.

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