Burt Lancaster

Actor, Producer, Director
Fame came to Burt Lancaster with his first film role, as the doomed Swede in Universal's "The Killers" (1946), but the former circus acrobat knew better than to leave his career in other hands. After less than two years ... Read more »
Born: 11/02/1913 in New York City, New York, USA


Actor (100)

Cops 1988 - 2016 (TV Show)


MDA Jerry Lewis Telethon 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)


A Conversation With Dinah 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)


Phantom of the Opera 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)


The Betrothed 1990 (Movie)

Federigo (Actor)

Field of Dreams 1989 (Movie)

Dr "Moonlight" Graham (Actor)

La Boutique de l'orfevre 1989 (Movie)

Jeweller (Actor)

The Television Academy Hall of Fame 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)


Rocket Gibraltar 1988 (Movie)

Levi Rockwell (Actor)

Sins of the Fathers 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)


Control 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)


Dawn's Early Light: Ralph McGill and the Segregated South 1987 (Movie)

of Ralph McGill (Voice)

Happy Birthday, Hollywood! 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)


The Tenth Annual Circus of the Stars 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)


Tough Guys 1986 (Movie)

Harry Doyle (Actor)

Little Treasure 1985 (Movie)

Teschemacher (Actor)

Scandal Sheet 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)


Local Hero 1983 (Movie)

Felix Happer (Actor)

The Osterman Weekend 1983 (Movie)

Maxwell Danforth (Actor)

I Love Liberty 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)


Marco Polo 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)


Atlantic City 1981 (Movie)

Lou (Actor)

Cattle Annie and Little Britches 1980 (Movie)

Bill Doolin (Actor)

La Pelle 1980 (Movie)

General Mark Clark (Actor)

Zulu Dawn 1979 (Movie)

Colonel Anthony Durnford (Actor)

Arthur Miller on Home Ground 1978 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Go Tell the Spartans 1978 (Movie)

Major Asa Barker (Actor)

1900 1977 (Movie)

Alfredo Berlinghieri Senior (Actor)

The Island of Dr. Moreau 1977 (Movie)

Dr Moreau (Actor)

The Cassandra Crossing 1976 (Movie)

Colonel Stephen MacKenzie (Actor)

Twilight's Last Gleaming 1976 (Movie)

Lawrence Dell (Actor)

Conversation Piece 1975 (Movie)

Professor (Actor)

Moses -- the Lawgiver 1974 - 1975 (TV Show)


Ali the Man: Ali the Fighter 1974 (Movie)


Executive Action 1973 (Movie)

Farrington (Actor)

Scorpio 1973 (Movie)

Cross (Actor)

The Midnight Man 1973 (Movie)

Jim Slade (Actor)

Super Comedy Bowl 2 1971 - 1972 (TV Show)


Ulzana's Raid 1972 (Movie)

McIntosh (Actor)

Lawman 1971 (Movie)

Bannock Marshal Jared Maddox (Actor)

Valdez Is Coming 1971 (Movie)

Bob Valdez (Actor)

Airport 1970 (Movie)

Mel Bakersfeld (Actor)

King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis 1970 (Movie)

Himself (Actor)

Castle Keep 1969 (Movie)

Major Falconer (Actor)

The Gypsy Moths 1969 (Movie)

Mike Rettig (Actor)

The Scalphunters 1968 (Movie)

Joe Bass (Actor)

The Swimmer 1968 (Movie)

Ned Merrill (Actor)

The Professionals 1965 (Movie)

Dolworth (Actor)

The Train 1965 (Movie)

Labiche (Actor)

Seven Days in May 1964 (Movie)

Gen James M Scott (Actor)

The Hallelujah Trail 1964 (Movie)

Colonel Thadeus Gearhart (Actor)

The Leopard 1963 (Movie)

Prince Don Fabrizio Salina (Actor)

The List of Adrian Messenger 1963 (Movie)

Woman (Actor)

Birdman of Alcatraz 1962 (Movie)

Robert Stroud (Actor)

A Child Is Waiting 1961 (Movie)

Dr Matthew Clark (Actor)

Judgment at Nuremberg 1961 (Movie)

Ernst Jannings (Actor)

The Young Savages 1961 (Movie)

Hank Bell (Actor)

Elmer Gantry 1960 (Movie)

Elmer Gantry (Actor)

The Unforgiven 1960 (Movie)

Ben Zachary (Actor)

Run Silent, Run Deep 1958 (Movie)

Lieutenant Jim Bledsoe (Actor)

Separate Tables 1958 (Movie)

John Malcolm (Actor)

The Devil's Disciple 1958 (Movie)

Anthony Anderson (Actor)

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral 1957 (Movie)

Wyatt Earp (Actor)

Sweet Smell of Success 1957 (Movie)

J J Hunsecker (Actor)

The Rainmaker 1956 (Movie)

Bill Starbuck (Actor)

Trapeze 1956 (Movie)

Mike Ribble (Actor)

The Kentuckian 1955 (Movie)

Big Eli (Actor)

The Rose Tattoo 1955 (Movie)

Alvaro Mangiacavallo (Actor)

Apache 1954 (Movie)

Massai (Actor)

Vera Cruz 1954 (Movie)

Joe Erin (Actor)

Come Back Little Sheba 1953 (Movie)

Doc Delaney (Actor)

From Here to Eternity 1953 (Movie)

Sergeant Milton Warden (Actor)

His Majesty O'Keefe 1953 (Movie)

His Majesty O'Keefe (Actor)

The Crimson Pirate 1952 (Movie)


Jim Thorpe - All American 1950 (Movie)

Jim Thorpe (Actor)

The Flame and the Arrow 1950 (Movie)


Criss Cross 1949 (Movie)

Steve Thompson (Actor)

All My Sons 1948 (Movie)

Chris Keller (Actor)

Brute Force 1947 (Movie)

Joe Collins (Actor)

I Walk Alone 1947 (Movie)

Frankie Madison (Actor)

Variety Girl 1947 (Movie)


Barnum (TV Show)


Benny Carter: Symphony in Riffs (TV Show)


Desert Fury (Movie)

Tom Hanson (Actor)

Kiss the Blood off My Hands (Movie)

Bill Saunders (Actor)

Marco Polo (TV Show)


Mister 880 (Movie)

Steve Buchanan (Actor)

On Wings of Eagles (TV Show)


Rope of Sand (Movie)

Mike Davis (Actor)

Scandal Sheet (Movie)

Harold Fallen (Actor)

Separate But Equal (TV Show)


Sorry, Wrong Number (Movie)

Henry Stevenson (Actor)

South Sea Woman (Movie)

Sgt. James O'Hearn (Actor)

The Killers (Movie)

Ole "Swede" Anderson (Actor)

The Life of Verdi (TV Show)


Vengeance Valley (Movie)

Owen Daybright (Actor)

Victory at Entebbe (TV Show)

Producer (7)

The Midnight Man 1973 (Movie)


Summer of the Seventeenth Doll 1961 (Movie)


Run Silent, Run Deep 1958 (Movie)


Take a Giant Step 1958 (Movie)


The Bachelor Party 1957 (Movie)


Marty 1955 (Movie)


The Crimson Pirate 1952 (Movie)

Director (2)

The Midnight Man 1973 (Movie)


The Kentuckian 1955 (Movie)



Fame came to Burt Lancaster with his first film role, as the doomed Swede in Universal's "The Killers" (1946), but the former circus acrobat knew better than to leave his career in other hands. After less than two years in Hollywood, Lancaster formed his own production company and took the lead in such popular successes as the Technicolor swashbucklers "The Flame and the Arrow" (1950) and "The Crimson Pirate" (1952) and the noble failure "Sweet Smell of Success" (1959), later called one the greatest films of all time. The athletic, savvy but passionate Lancaster remained a box office draw for 20 years, winning a 1961 Academy Award for playing the corrupt evangelist "Elmer Gantry" (1960), but his power to pull in moviegoers waned with the death of the studio system and his own disinterest in acting the Hollywood hero. Lancaster took chances in such challenging films as "The Swimmer" (1968), "Castle Keep" (1969) and "Ulzana's Raid" (1972) while his best work through the next decade was often in European features like "1900" (1976) and "Atlantic City" (1980), which netted him an Oscar nomination. In his later years, the actor was better known to younger Americans from TV spots for MCI, the ACLU, and AIDS research, and for his final film role in the hit "Field of Dreams" (1989). Five years after his death in 1994, the American Film Institute pointed a new generation of film fans Burt Lancaster's way when they conferred upon him the posthumous designation of living legend.


Jane Lancaster


Norma Anderson

married on December 26, 1946 divorced in 1969 met during WWII when she was a USO worker

Jackie Bone

together c. 1970-87

June Ernst

married in 1935 divorced in 1936

Deborah Kerr Actor

had relationship during filming of "From Here to Eternity"

James Lancaster


William Lancaster

Died in 1955

Joanna Lancaster

born in 1954 mother, Norma Anderson produced the features "Little Treasure" (1985) and "Ruthless People" (1986)

Sighle Lancaster

born in 1956 mother, Norma Anderson

Susan Lancaster

born in 1951 mother, Norma Anderson

James Lancaster

born in 1949 mother, Norma Anderson

William Lancaster

born in 1947 mother, Norma Anderson acted with father in TV-movie, "Moses: The Lawgiver" and theatrical film "The Midnight Man" co-scripted "The Bad News Bears" (1976) and "The Thing" (1982) died on January 4, 1997 of cardiac arrest

James Lancaster

died in 1961

Susan Scherer

married on September 10, 1990 together since c. 1983 survived Lancaster

Shelley Winters

had on-again, off-again relationship


New York University

New York , New York 1930 - 1932
on basketball scholarship; dropped out to join Kay Brothers Circus in Petersburg, Virginia

P S 83

New York , New York

DeWitt Clinton High School

New York , New York



Last acting role, in a TV-movie, "Separate but Equal", co-starring Sidney Poitier


Made last feature film, "The Betrothed", an Italian-German-Dutch-Yugoslavian co-production


Suffered stroke while visiting Dana Andrews in a nursing home (November 30)


Last American film, "Field of Dreams"


Sued the production companies (Fonda Film Productions and Columbia Pictures) which fired him from a leading role in "Old Gringo" opposite Jane Fonda and Jimmy Smits, when his heart conditions increased the film's insurance premiums; Lancaster was replaced


Last of six films opposite Kirk Douglas, "Tough Guys"


Hosted a six-part historical, biographical miniseries on PBS, "The Life of Verdi"


Underwent quadruple bypass surgery


Received a fourth Oscar nomination for Best Actor for the Louis Malle film, "Atlantic City"


First TV miniseries, "Moses--The Lawgiver", in which he played the title role


Feature co-writing debut (with Ronald Kibbee), "The Midnight Man", which he also co-produced and starred in; film also marked his second feature directorial effort; Lancaster co-directed with Roland Kibbee


Returned to stage in "Knickerbocker Holiday" in San Francisco


First foreign-language production, the Italian-made Luchino Visconti film, "Il gattopardo/The Leopard"


Received third Oscar nomination for Best Actor for "Birdman of Alcatraz"


Dissolved Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions


Last producing credit for 14 years, "Summer of the 17th Doll", an Australian-made film in which he did not appear as an actor


Turned down the title role in "Ben-Hur"


Hecht-Lancaster Productions took on another partner, James Hill, and became Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions


Film directing debut (also actor), "The Kentuckian"


Received first of four Oscar nominations as Best Actor for "From Here to Eternity"


Debut as producer, "The First Time"


Radio debut, "I Walk Alone" (Lux Radio Theatre)


Formed Norma Productions (first of 14 production companies in which he was involved); company's first production, "Kiss the Blood Off My Hands", a film noir in which Lancaster starred opposite Joan Fontaine


Founded Harold Hecht-Norma Productions (changed to Hecht-Lancaster Productions in 1954)


Made first of six films in which he co-starred opposite Kirk Douglas, "I Walk Alone"


Made feature film acting debut in the leading role of Robert Siodmak's film noir, "The Killers"


Allegedly was discovered in an elevator by producer and agent Irving L. Jacobs, who mistook him for an actor; resulted in his auditioning for first professional acting role on Broadway


Broadway debut in "A Sound of Hunting" (23 performances)


Injured right hand; gave up acrobatics and worked as a firefighter, refrigeration company inspector and as a floor walker, then salesman for Marshall Field and Company, Chicago IL


Founder (with Nick Cravat) of Lang and Cravat acrobatic team

Performed with many circuses (including Ringling Bros.), Also in vaudeville, at funfairs and nightclubs during 1930s

Drafted into Army, Special Services Division stationed in North Africa and Italy, where he directed and appeared in revues including "Stars and Gripes"

Raised in East Harlem, New York

Was encouraged by many friends and colleagues to run opposite Ronald Reagan as governor of California, but refused

Bonus Trivia


He was at one time president of the American Civil Liberties Union and was later appointed a national advisory council member.


He represented the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) before the US Select Committee on Aging in Washington DC in 1990.