Burt Lancaster

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Burt Lancaster Trivia

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  • Trivia

    • Quotes from the movie Tough Guys

      Harry Doyle: And I ain't goin' to your funeral!
      Archie Long: You ain't invited!

      [Harry Doyle has been summoned by his parole officer]
      Richie Evans: I got a call from the rest home today. She said that you were being a disruptive influence during lunch. That you refused to eat your spinach soufflé, and that you caused a riot. And that last night you made love to a woman.
      Harry Doyle: Do you make love to women, Richie?
      Richie Evans: Well, yes. Of course I do.
      Harry Doyle: Then how come when you do it, you're a stud and when I do it I'm a disruptive influence to society.
      Richie Evans: Because I'm only 28 and you're 72.


      Harry Doyle: Well, what do you want to do now, Archie? Rob another empty armored truck? Maybe start a collection?
      Archie Long: No, we've got to do something big. Something they woun't laugh at.
      Harry Doyle: Like what?
      Archie Long: We could take down the flier!
      Harry Doyle: The Gold Coast Flier? That's the stupidest idea I've ever heard!
      Archie Long: That's what you said about the armored truck.
      Harry Doyle: No, I said the armored truck was dumb. This is stupid.
      Harry Doyle: There's nothing to steal on the Gold Coast Flier.
      Archie Long: So? We'll steal the whole Goddamn train and ride it to Mexico.
      Harry Doyle: What for?
      Archie Long: To prove we can do it! To show everyone that we will not just fade away, but prove that we can still be tough and be respected for that.
      Harry Doyle: Archie, the Gold Coast Flier is no armored truck. It's a super-fast train going at 100 miles per hour.
      Archie Long: That didn't stop us the last time.
      Harry Doyle: The last time we got caught, remember? We were put away for 30 years!
      Archie Long: Now we're 30 years smarter. We won't make the same mistakes.
      Harry Doyle: That's right. Because we ain't gonna do it.

    • Quotes from the movie From Here to Eternity


      Karen Holmes: I never knew it could be like this! Nobody ever kissed me the way you do.
      Sergeant Milton Warden: Nobody?
      Karen Holmes: No, nobody.
      Sergeant Milton Warden: Not even one? Out of all the men you've been kissed by?
      Karen Holmes: [giggling] Now that'd take some figuring. How many men do you think there've been?
      Sergeant Milton Warden: I wouldn't know.Can't you give me a rough estimate?
      Karen Holmes: Not without an adding machine. Do you have the adding machine with you?
      Sergeant Milton Warden: I forgot to bring it.

    • In the movie The Scalphunters (1968) Burt's role as a fur trader along with Ossie Davis, the ex-slave, was a way for him to advance Civil Rights.

    • Burt attempted to draw attention to the Native American Cause in the movie Apache (1954).

    • Upon the release of the movie Elmer Gantry this disclaimer was included:


      We believe that certain aspects of Revivalism can bear examination -- that the conduct of some revivalists makes a mockery of the traditional beliefs and practices of organized Christianity. We believe that everyone has a right to worship according to his conscious but Freedom of Religion is not a license to abuse the faith of the people. However, due to the highly controversial nature of this film, we strongly urge you to prevent impressionable children from seeing it!

    • While filming Rocket Gibraltar (1988)Burt clashed with Macualay Culkin.

    • While filming Little Treasure (1985) Burt knocked a few of Margot Kidder's teeth out. The issue was legally and financially settled in court and the incident hushed.

    • Burt considered his role as Prince of Salina, Don Fabrizio, in the movie The Leopard (1963)to be his best role.

    • The Osterman Weekend (1983) is considered by many to be one of Burt's worse movie appearances.

    • When filming Atlantic City (1981)Burt did not get along with Susan Sarandon, though both were lifelong liberal.


    • In 1964, while Burt was filming The Hallelujah Trail in New Mexico he met a hairdresser named Jackie Bone, who would be his girlfriend for the next 20 years. Though he was still married to Norma, he started dating Jackie. Norma agreed to divorce him in 1969. His relationship with Jackie was rocky and once, while arguing in a restaurant she broke a pitcher over his head.

    • Burt's father, James Lancaster, who had been living with Burt since 1947, died in September 1961. The two had been very close. Two months later, Burt's home was burned to the ground. Fortunately, his art collection had been sent to the Los Angeles County Art Museum a week before the fire.

    • Upon finishing filming Aiport, Hunter said of Burt "Burt was the only one in the cast who never said good-bye. Never said thank you, never came to the big cast party, never did anything to promote the picture. I kept saying to myself, You're a schmuck. You should have gotten someone else."

    • Burt made several films with Kirk Douglas, including I Walk Alone (1948), Gunfight at the OK Corral (1957), The Devil's Desciple (1959), Seven Days in May (1964) and Tough Guys (1986). In all the films Burt's name appeared first, with the exception of I Walk Alone in which their roles were the same size.

    • Michael Winner, the director of Lawman, says he once feared for his life, when Burt Lancaster tried to kill him. Michael Winner, know for his temper, clashed with Burt on the set of the movie Lawman (1971). Michael said: "The dearest thing tried to dangle me over a cliff."

    • In 1970 Burt appeared in the film Airport. It was the first time in 46 films that he was shown as a business executive. The picture was nominated for an Academy Award. It earned Burt a small fortune, more than any other movie he had participated in. However, Burt called it "the biggest piece of junk ever made."

    • Shelley Winters would describe Burt as being unfaithful to her when he made love to his wife, Norma.

    • Burt was nicknamed "Mr Muscles and Teeth."

    • In 1979, while filming Cattle Annie and Little Britches Burt suffered a heart attack.

    • In 1990, Burt suffered a severe stroke while visiting actor Dana Andrews. Burt remained hospitalized until February 1991, and incapacitated and unable to speak until his death in 1994.

    • In January 1980, Burt almost died during an operation to remove his gallbladder, when the operation, which was supposed to last five hours, turned into an 11-hour ordeal as a result of unexpected complications.

    • When filming Go Tell The Spartans, the production ran out of money. Burt donated $150,000 of his own money to the production in order to complete the film.

    • Burt formed his own independent film production company, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster, together with producer Harold Hecht and writer-producer James Hill.

    • His son, James Stephen Lancaster, was diagnosed as a schizophrenic.

    • Burt was a fan of president John F. Kennedy and had the opportunity of dinning with him in the White House. After Kennedy's assassination, Burt delayed the release of his movie Seven Days in May. In 1973 he starred in the movie Executive Action which was the first Kennedy conspiracy movie.

    • Burt was one of the few humanitarians who agreed to associate himself with AIDS research. In 1985, at a Hollywood dinner to raise AIDS awareness, he read a letter from Rock Hudson announcing he was dying of AIDS. Very few stars dared to attend the event.

    • Burt was almost blacklisted in the 1940s for his political beliefs.

    • In the late 1950s John Wayne suggested to Burt that they make a Western together. Burt politely refused. He would not work with John Wayne as Wayne was a Republican supporter, active in the McCarthy Witch Hunts, as a founding member and, later on, President of the right-wing Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals.

    • Burt was not as good of a friend with Kirk Douglas as was often thought. Their friendship was mostly fabricated by the publicity-wise Douglas. In reality, Burt was often cruel and dismissive to Douglas and played quite a few practical joke on him.

    • In 1987 Bert was voted "Man of the Year" by Aid for AIDS for his far-reaching work on their behalf, which included allowing his photograph to be used on their annual Christmas card.

    • Burt turned down Clint Eastwood's role as Harry Callahan in Dirty Harry (1971) as the role and plot contradicted his belief in a collective responsibility for criminal and social justice and the protection of individual rights

    • Burt was offered the role of Stanley Kowalski in A streetcar Named Desire in 1947, after the studio decided not to work with John Garfield. Burt rejected the role. Marlon Brando took the role instead of him and became a legend.

    • Burt was close friends with Harry Belafonte. Both were liberal activists.

    • Burt passed away on October 20, 1994 with his wife at his side. His wife, Susan said: "This last week he'd been better than ever. It came as a complete surprise. He went very, very peacefully. We were together, thank God. He was patting my hair and touching my face and he took a sigh and that was it."

    • On 24 September 1968, the police tried to pull Burt over for speeding, instead of stopping, Burt accelerated and fled, leading the California Highway Patrol in a three-mile chase that ended in the driveway of his home. At the time, Burt was going through a period of self-destructiveness and depression.

    • Burt turned down the role of Ben-Hur, stating that the film was "a piece of religious crap". Charlton Heston accepted the role in his place and won an Academy Award for Best Actor for that role. Years later, Burt stated that if Charlton Heston became typecast in heroic roles it was his own fault, because "he accepted the limitation."

    • Burt's childhood hero was Douglas Fairbanks.

    • From the 1960s Burt became a devout supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). He held key positions in the ACLU and was a passionate supporter and fund-raiser.

    • Burt left the circus to join the military after injuring his hand in the circus.

    • Burt and Nick Cravat performed in the circus together as Lang and Cravat.

    • Burt enrolled in New York University, planning to become a gym teacher. However, he was bored in school and ended up joining the circus with his best friend, Nick Cravet.

    • As a child, Burt wanted to become an opera singer. He gave up that dream when puberty caused his voice to change.

    • Burt's son, the late Bill Lancaster, was a screenwriter. He wrote The Bad News Bears (1976) which is loosely based on his own childhood experience of being coached by his father. Bill was disabled by polio as a child and according to his friend, Joel Douglas, the character played by Tatum O'Neal in the film is based on him. The role of the coach, played by Walter Matthau was based on his father, Burt Lancaster, known for his temperament.

    • His son, William Henry Lancaster was born in 1947 and died on January 4, 1997 of cardiac arrest. His son, James Stephen Lancaster was born in 1949. His daugher, Susan Elizabeth Lancaster was born in 1951. His daughter, Joanna Mari Lancaster was born in 1954. His daughter, Sighle Lancaster was born in 1956.

    • Burt had a relationship with Deborah Kerr during the filming of From Here to Eternity.

    • Burt had an on-again, off-again relationship with Shelley Winters.

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

    • Burt's first first role on TV was a guest appearance on Sesame Street in 1969. Burt recited the alphabet.

    • Burt was Cecil B. Demille's first choice to play Samson in the movie Samson and Delilah (1949).

    • Burt had five children.

  • Quotes

    • Burt: (confronting the new director of the movie Rocket Gibraltar) Why the f--k do you need a g-d closeup? I'm sick to death of that crap. You need the ambience, you need the feeling of the room.

    • Burt: (on his relationship with Kirk Douglas) I said, 'We're lovers,' and he laughed and I laughed - but it worked. It typifies the love-hate relationship we had for 40 years. Whether Kirk and I are arguing or challenging each other, we are with each other, we understand. I guess what I'm trying to say is that we love each other.

    • Burt: (on his looks) I had the luck of having an obedient body.

    • Burt: (summing up his career on a 1991 Donahue TV interview) I enjoy acting when I get into it. I grumble and grouse about it. It's not good enough, how are they going to make this picture, I think the writer is terrible, the director doesn't know what he's doing, the other actors are ordinary, the girl isn't beautiful enough. I go through all of this nonsense and then I get in and I love it. I'm a pain in the neck, I try to direct the picture, I try to tell the other actors how to act, all that. People hate me, and when it's all over, they wind up loving me. I don't know why.

    • Burt: (comment regarding his marriage to his secretary in 1990) Some people might think I'm too old to get married, but age has nothing to do with it. I feel like a kid again -- thanks to Susan!

    • Burt: (comment made while on the set of 'Go tell the Spartans') You know, when I was a younger man, all I had to do was walk out on a set and say, "Hey baby, what's going on. Ha! Ha! Ha!." But, as I've become older it forced me to learn how to act.

    • Burt: I woke up one day a star. It was terriftying. Then I worked hard toward becoming a good actor.

    • Burt: We're all forgotten sooner or later. But not films. That's all the memorial we should need or hope for.

    • Burt: Most people seem to think I'm the kind of guy who shaves with a blowtorch. Actually, I'm bookish and worrisome.

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