It is with great sadness that I learned just a few hours ago of the passing of one of the truly great screen presences of the last sixty years — Jack Palance. While he is well known for his Oscar-winning role in 1991’s City Slickers, movie buffs recall his taciturn turn as villain Jack Wilson in Shane. While he was not fond of such roles, he was truly one of the great villains of Westerns.
I may have more to say about the passing of this classy man later, but am off to the one of the few places where I can be an openly conservative film buff — the Liberty Film Festival. And I’m sure we’ll all remember this great actor and the contributions he made to a past time we all so enjoy. While we mourn his passing, we are ever grateful that through the magic of movies, his great performances will last long after he is gone.
I don’t think Shane would have succeeded as it did, easily becoming one of my favorite Westerns, without Palance’s brilliant performance as the level-headed heavy. Jack Palance, thank you for your contributions to motion pictures — and for the spirit which animated your life.