Possessing a face seemingly carved out of granite and a voice filled with equal parts gravel and menace, actor Jack Palance was an easy choice to play the heavy, but it was his underutilized intelligence and humor that allowed him to occasionally break free from Hollywood typecasting, with wonderfully unpredictable results. Following an auspicious Broadway debut, the young actor burst onto the screen with deliciously nasty performances in "Panic in the Streets" (1950), "Sudden Fear" (1952) and "Shane" (1953). However, despite having already garnered a pair of Academy Award nominations, Palance soon found himself being pigeon-holed as either a crook or a killer. Well regarded projects like "The Big Knife" (1955) and "Requiem for a Heavyweight" (CBS, 1956) gave audiences a glimpse of Palance's versatility. Seeking out work in Europe, the ex-pat actor took part in such diverse efforts as the cut-rate adventure "Sword of the Conqueror" (1961) and the French New Wave drama "Le Mepris" ("Contempt") (1963). With rewarding film roles becoming sparse, Palance found a modicum of success on television with endeavors such as a chilling adaptation of "Dracula" (CBS, 1974) and as the host of "Ripley's Believe It or Not" (ABC, 1982-86). Palance bookended his expansive résumé with a late-career comeback when he parodied his own villainous persona in the comedy feature "City Slickers" (1991), a performance that won the veteran actor his only Academy Award. Long regarded as the quintessential movie bad guy, Palance had the last laugh when his impromptu, one-handed push-up demonstration during his Oscar acceptance became one of the most iconic and hilarious moments in the televised ceremony's broadcast history.