Burton Stephen Lancaster (November 2, 1913 – October 20, 1994) was an American actor and producer. Initially known for playing "tough guys", he went on to achieve success with more complex and challenging roles. He was nominated four times for Academy Awards, and won once for his work in Elmer Gantry in 1960. He also won a Golden Globe Award for that performance and BAFTA Awards for Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) and Atlantic City (1980).
During the 1950s his production company Hecht-Hill-Lancaster was highly successful, making films such as Trapeze (1956), Sweet Smell of Success (1957), Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), and Separate Tables (1958). The American Film Institute ranks Lancaster as #19 of the greatest male stars of classic Hollywood cinema.
Lancaster in Desert Fury (1947)
Burton Stephen Lancaster
November 2, 1913
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
|Died||October 20, 1994 (aged 80)|
Century City, California, U.S.
(m. 1935; div. 1946)
(m. 1946; div. 1969)
|Children||5, including Bill Lancaster|
Burton Stephen Lancaster was born on November 2, 1913, in Manhattan, New York, at his parents' home at 209 East 106th Street, the son of Elizabeth (née Roberts) and mailman James Henry Lancaster. Both of his parents were Protestants of working-class origin. All four of his grandparents were Irish immigrants to the United States, from the province of Ulster; his maternal grandparents were from Belfast and were descendants of English immigrants to Ireland.
Lancaster grew up in East Harlem and spent much of his time on the streets, where he developed a great interest and skill in gymnastics while attending DeWitt Clinton High School, where he was a basketball star. Before he graduated from DeWitt Clinton, his mother died of a cerebral hemorrhage. Lancaster was accepted by New York University with an athletic scholarship, but subsequently dropped out.
At 19, Lancaster met Nick Cravat, with whom he developed a lifelong partnership. Together they learned to act in local theatre productions and circus arts at Union Settlement, one of the city's oldest settlement houses. They formed the acrobat duo Lang and Cravat in the 1930s, and soon joined the Kay Brothers circus. However, in 1939, an injury forced Lancaster to give up the profession, with great regret. He then found temporary work, first as a salesman for Marshall Fields and then as a singing waiter in various restaurants.
With the United States having then entered World War II, Lancaster joined the United States Army in 1942 and performed with the Army's 21st Special Services Division, one of the military groups organized to follow the troops on the ground and provide USO entertainment to keep up morale. He served with General Mark Clark's Fifth Army in Italy from 1943 to 1945.
Lancaster returned to New York after his Army service. Although initially unenthusiastic about acting, Lancaster was encouraged to audition for a Broadway play by a producer who saw him while he was visiting his then-girlfriend at work. The audition was successful and Lancaster was cast in Harry Brown's A Sound of Hunting (1945). The show only ran three weeks, but his performance attracted the interest of a Hollywood agent, Harold Hecht. Lancaster had other offers but Hecht promised him the opportunity to produce their own movies within five years of hitting Hollywood.
Through Hecht, Lancaster was brought to the attention of producer Hal B. Wallis, who signed him to a non-exclusive eight-movie contract.
Then producer Mark Hellinger approached him to star in The Killers (1946), which was completed and released prior to Desert Fury. Directed by Robert Siodmak it was a great critical success, and launched Lancaster and his co-star Ava Gardner to stardom. It has since come to be regarded as a classic.
Hellinger used Lancaster again on Brute Force (1947), a prison drama written by Richard Brooks and directed by Jules Dassin. It was also well received. Wallis released his films through Paramount, and so Lancaster and other Wallis contractees made cameos in Variety Girl (1947).
Lancaster had a change of pace with the film adaptation of Arthur Miller's All My Sons (1948), made at Universal with Edward G. Robinson. His third film for Wallis was an adaptation of Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) with Barbara Stanwyck.
Hecht kept to his promise to Lancaster to turn producer. The two of them formed a company, Norma Productions, and did a deal with Universal to make a thriller in England, Kiss the Blood Off My Hands (1948) with Joan Fontaine and directed by Norman Foster. It was a commercial disappointment but critically acclaimed.
Back in Hollywood, Lancaster did another film noir with Siodmak, Criss Cross (1949). It was originally going to be produced by Hellinger and when Hellinger died another took over. Tony Curtis made an early appearance.
Lancaster did a fourth for Wallis, Rope of Sand (1949).
Norma Productions signed a three-picture deal with Warner Bros. The first was The Flame and the Arrow (1950), a swasbuckler movie, in which Lancaster drew on his circus skills. Nick Cravat had a support role and the film was a huge commercial success, making of $6 million. It was Warners' most popular film of the year and established an entirely new image for Lancaster.
Lancaster was borrowed by 20th Century Fox for Mister 880 (1950), a comedy with Edmund Gwenn. MGM put him in a popular Western, Vengeance Valley (1951), then he went to Warners to pay the title role in the biopic Jim Thorpe -- All-American (1951).
Norma signed a deal with Columbia to make two films through a Norma subsidiary, Halburt. The first film was Ten Tall Men (1951) where Lancaster was a member of the French Foreign Legion. Robert Aldrich worked on the movie as a production manager.
The second was a comedy The First Time (1952), a comedy which was the directorial debut of Frank Tashlin. It was meant to star Lancaster but he wound up not appearing in the film - the first of their productions in which he did not act.)
In 1951 the actor/producer duo changed the company's name to Hecht-Lancaster Productions. The first film under the new name was another swashbuckler: The Crimson Pirate (1952), directed by Siodmak. Co-starring Cravat, it was extremely popular.
Alternating with adventure films, he went into South Sea Woman (1952) at Warners. Part of the Norma-Warners contract was that Lancaster had to appear in some non-Norma films, of which this was one.
Lancaster played one of his best-remembered roles with Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity (1953) for Columbia, directed by Fred Zinnemann. The American Film Institute acknowledged the iconic status of the scene from that film in which he and Deborah Kerr make love on a Hawaiian beach amid the crashing waves. The organization named it one of "AFI's top 100 Most Romantic Films" of all time. Lancaster's performance earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Awarded the Oscar for Best Picture of the Year, the film would be one of the most critically acclaimed Lancaster ever made.
For his own company, Lancaster produced and starred in His Majesty O'Keefe (1954), a South Sea island tale shot in Fiji. It was co written by James Hill who would soon become a part of the Hecht-Lancaster partnership. 
United Artists signed Hecht-Lancaster to a multi-picture contract, to make seven films over two years. These included films which Lancaster did not act in. Their first was Marty (1955), based on Paddy Chayefsky's TV play starring Ernest Borgnine and directed by Delbert Mann. It won both the Academy Award for Best Picture and the Palme d'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival. It also earned $2 million on a budget of $350,000. Vera Cruz had been a huge success but Marty secured Hecht-Lancaster as one of the most successful independent production companies in Hollywood at the time. 
Without Hill, Hecht and Lancaster producedThe Kentuckian (1955) was directed by Lancaster in his directorial debut. He also played a lead role. Lancaster disliked directing and only did it once more, in the 1970s.
Lancaster still had commitments with Wallis, and made The Rose Tattoo (1955) for him, starring with Anna Magnani and directed by Daniel Mann. It was very popular at the box office and critically acclaimed, winning Magnani an Oscar.
In 1955 Hill was made an equal partner in the company and the name was upgraded to Hecht-Hill-Lancaster, releasing their first film in 1956, Trapeze, in which Lancaster performed many of his own stunts. Trapeze, co starring Tony Curtis and Gina Lollobrigida, went on to become the production company's top box office success. United Artists expanded its deal with HHL.
The "H-H-L" team impressed Hollywood with its success; as Life wrote in 1957, "[a]fter the independent production of a baker's dozen of pictures, it has yet to have its first flop ... (They were also good pictures.)."  In late 1957 they announced they would make ten films worth $14 million in 1958.
Lancaster did two films for Wallis, to complete his eight film commitment for that produce: The Rainmaker (1956) with Katharine Hepburn, which earned Lancaster a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor; and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957) with Kirk Douglas, directed by John Sturges, which was a huge commercial hit.
Lancaster worked with Tony Curtis again on Sweet Smell of Success (1957), a co-production between Hecht-Hill-Lancaster and Curtis' own company Curtleigh Productions (co-owned with his wife, Janet Leigh). The movie, directed by Alexander Mackendrick, was a critical success but a commercial disappointment. Over the years it has come to be regarded as one of Lancaster's greatest films.
Hecht-Hill-Lancaster produced seven additional films in the late 1950s. Four starred Lancaster: Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), a war film with Clark Gable, directed by Robert Wise, which was mildly popular; Separate Tables (1958), with Kerr and Rita Hayworth (who married James Hill), based on a play by Terence Rattigan which received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture and Oscar awards for David Niven and Wendy Hiller and was both a critical and commercial success; The Devil's Disciple (1959), with Douglas and Laurence Olivier, which lost money (and saw Lancaster fire Mackendirck during shooting); and The Unforgiven (1960), with Audrey Hepburn, which was a critical and commercial disappointment.
Three were made without Lancaster, all of which lost money: The Bachelor Party (1957), from another TV play by Chayefsky, and directed by Delbert Mann; Take a Giant Step (1959), about a black student; and Summer of the Seventeenth Doll (1960), from an Australian play, shot in Australia and Britain.
Additionally Hecht-Hill-Lancaster served as the production company for the 1960-1961 TV series Whiplash.
The Hecht-Hill-Lancaster Productions company dissolved in 1960, after Hill ruptured his relation with both Hecht and Lancaster. 
Lancaster played the title role in Elmer Gantry (1960), written and directed by Richard Brooks for United Artists. The film received five Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor. Lancaster won the 1960 Academy Award for Best Actor, a Golden Globe Award, and the New York Film Critics Award for his performance.
Lancaster starred in Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) for Stanley Kramer, alongside Spencer Tracey, Richard Widmark and a number of other iconic stars. The film was both a commercial and critical success, receiving 11 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. He then did another with Hecht and Frankenheimer (replacing Charles Crichton, Birdman of Alcatraz (1962). The second film earned Lancaster a Best Actor Oscar nomination. Hecht went on to produce five films without Lancaster's assistance, through his company Harold Hecht Films Productions between 1961 and 1967, including another Academy Award winner, Cat Ballou, starring Lee Marvin and Jane Fonda.
He went to Italy to star in The Leopard (1963) for Luchino Visconti, co-starring Alain Delon and Claudia Cardinale. It was one of Lancaster's favourite films and was a big hit in France but failed in the US (though the version released was much truncated.)
He had a small role in The List of Adrian Messenger (1963) for producer/star Kirk Douglas, and then did two for Frankenheimer: Seven Days in May (1964), a political thriller with Douglas, and The Train (1964), a World War Two action film (Lancaster had Frankenheimer replace Arthur Penn several days into filming).
In 1966 at the age of 52, Lancaster appeared nude in director Frank Perry's film The Swimmer (1968), in what the critic Roger Ebert called "his finest performance". Prior to working on The Swimmer, Lancaster was terrified of the water because he did not know how to swim. In preparation for the film, he took swimming lessons from UCLA swim coach Bob Horn. Filming was difficult and clashes between Lancaster and Perry led to Sydney Pollack coming in to do some filming. The film was not released until 1968, when it proved to be a commercial failure, though Lancaster remained proud of the movie and his performance.
In 1967, Lancaster formed a new partnership with Roland Kibbee, who had already worked as a writer on five Lancaster projects; Ten Tall Men, The Crimson Pirate, Three Sailors and a Girl (in which Lancaster made a cameo appearance), Vera Cruz and The Devil's Disciple. Through Norlan Productions, Lancaster and Kibbee produced The Scalphunters (1968), directed by Sydney Pollack.
Lancaster had one of the biggest successes of his career with Airport (1970), starring alongside Dean Martin, Jean Seberg and Jacqueline Bisset. The film received 9 academy award nominations, including one for Best Picture. It became one of the biggest box-office hits of 1970 and, at that time, reportedly the highest-grossing film in the history of Universal Pictures.
He went into a series of Westerns: Lawman (1971) directed by Michael Winner; Valdez Is Coming (1971), for Norlan; and Ulzana's Raid (1972), directed by Aldrich and produced by himself and Hecht. None were particularly popular but Ulzana's Raid has become a cult film.
Lancaster returned to directing with The Midnight Man (1974), which he also wrote and produced with Kibee.
Lancaster was one of many names in 1900 (1975), directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, and he had a cameo in Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson (1976) for Robert Altman.
He played Shimon Peres in the TV movie Victory at Entebbe (1977) and had a support role in The Cassandra Crossing (1976). He made a fourth a final film with Aldrich, Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977) and had the title role in The Island of Dr. Moreau (1978).
Lancaster was top billed in Go Tell the Spartans (1978), a Vietnam War film; Lancaster admired the script so much he took a reduced fee and donated money to help the movie be completed. He was in Zulu Dawn (1979).
Lancaster began the 1980s with a highly acclaimed performance in Atlantic City (1980), directed by Louis Malle. The film received 5 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and a Best Actor nomination for Lancaster.
He was in Little Treasure (1985), directed by Alan Sharp who had written Ulzana's Raid; On Wings of Eagles (1986) for TV, as Bull Simons; Barnum (1986) for TV, in the title role; Tough Guys (1986) with Douglas, Fathers and Sons: A German Tragedy (1986) for German TV, Control (1987) in Italy, Rocket Gibraltar (1988), and The Jeweller's Shop (1989).
Lancaster's final performances included The Phantom of the Opera (1990) for TV; Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair (1990) as Leon Klinghoffer; and Separate But Equal (1992) with Sidney Poitier.
For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Lancaster has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6801 Hollywood Boulevard.
Lancaster appeared in a total of 17 films produced by his agent Harold Hecht. Eight of these were co-produced by James Hill. He also appeared in eight films produced by Hal B. Wallis and two with producer Mark Hellinger. Although Lancaster's work alongside Kirk Douglas was mostly known as a successful pair of actors, Douglas in fact produced four films for the pair, through his production companies Bryna Productions and Joel Productions. Roland Kibbee also produced three Lancaster films. Lancaster was also cast in two Stanley Kramer productions.
John Frankenheimer directed five films with Lancaster: The Young Savages (1961), Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), Seven Days in May (1964), The Train (1964), and The Gypsy Moths (1969). He was directed four times by Robert Aldrich, three times by Robert Siodmak and Sydney Pollack, and twice by Byron Haskin, Daniel Mann, John Sturges, John Huston, Richard Brooks, Alexander Mackendrick, Luchino Visconti, and Michael Winner.
Roland Kibbee wrote for seven Lancaster films. Lancaster used make-up veteran Robert Schiffer in 20 credited films, hiring Schiffer on nearly all the films he produced.
Lancaster vigorously guarded his private life. He was married three times. His first two marriages, to June Ernst from 1935 to 1946 and Norma Anderson from 1946 to 1969, ended in divorce. His third marriage, to Susan Martin, lasted from September 1990 until his death in 1994. All five of his children were with Anderson: Bill (who became an actor and screenwriter), James, Susan, Joanna, and Sighle (pronounced "Sheila"). Friends say he claimed he was romantically involved with Deborah Kerr during the filming of From Here to Eternity in 1953. However, Kerr stated that while there was a spark of attraction, nothing ever happened. He reportedly had an affair with Joan Blondell.
In her 1980 autobiography, Shelley Winters claimed to have had a long affair with him. Recent biographers and others suggest that Lancaster was bisexual, and that he had intimate relationships with men as well as women. According to testimony in Kate Buford's Burt Lancaster: An American Life, Lancaster was devotedly loyal to his friends and family. Old friends from his childhood remained his friends for life.
Lancaster was a vocal supporter of liberal political causes, and frequently spoke out in support of racial minorities, including at the March on Washington in 1963. He was a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War and right-wing political movements such as McCarthyism, and he helped pay for the successful defense of a soldier accused of "fragging" (murdering) another soldier during that war. In 1968, Lancaster actively supported the presidential candidacy of antiwar Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota, and frequently spoke on his behalf during the Democratic primaries. He campaigned heavily for George McGovern in the 1972 presidential election. In 1985, Lancaster joined the fight against AIDS after his close friend, Rock Hudson, contracted the disease. He campaigned for Michael Dukakis in the 1988 presidential election.
The centennial of Lancaster's birth was honored at New York City's Film Society of Lincoln Center in May 2013 with the screening of 12 of the actor's best-known films, from The Killers to Atlantic City.
As Lancaster grew older, he became increasingly plagued by atherosclerosis, barely surviving a routine gall bladder operation in January 1980. Following two minor heart attacks, he had to undergo an emergency quadruple coronary bypass in 1983, after which he was extremely weak. However, he still managed to continue acting. In 1988, Lancaster was well enough to attend a Congressional hearing in Washington D.C. with old colleagues such as James Stewart and Ginger Rogers to protest against media magnate Ted Turner's plan to colorize various black-and-white films from the 1930s and 1940s.
Lancaster's acting career ended after he suffered a stroke on November 30, 1990, which left him partly paralyzed and largely unable to speak. He died in his apartment in Century City, California, from a third heart attack at 4:50 am on October 20, 1994, at the age of 80; just 13 days shy of his 81st birthday. He was cremated and his ashes were buried under a large oak tree in Westwood Memorial Park located in Westwood Village, California. A small, square ground plaque inscribed only with "BURT LANCASTER 1913–1994" marks his final resting place. Upon his death, as he requested, he had no memorial or funeral service.
|1946||The Killers||Ole "Swede" Anderson||With Ava Gardner|
|1947||Brute Force||Joe Collins||With Hume Cronyn|
|Desert Fury||Tom Hanson||With Lizabeth Scott|
|Variety Girl||Burt Lancaster||With Mary Hatcher|
|1948||I Walk Alone||Frankie Madison||With Kirk Douglas|
|All My Sons||Chris Keller||With Edward G. Robinson|
|Sorry, Wrong Number||Henry Stevenson||With Barbara Stanwyck|
|Kiss the Blood Off My Hands||William Earle "Bill" Saunders||With Joan Fontaine|
|1949||Criss Cross||Steve Thompson||With Yvonne de Carlo|
|Rope of Sand||Michael "Mike" Davis||With Paul Henreid|
|1950||The Flame and the Arrow||Dardo Bartoli||With Virginia Mayo|
|Mister 880||Steve Buchanan||With Dorothy McGuire|
|1951||Vengeance Valley||Owen Daybright||With Robert Walker|
|Jim Thorpe – All-American||Jim Thorpe||With Charles Bickford|
|Ten Tall Men||Sergeant Mike Kincaid||With Jody Lawrance|
|1952||The Crimson Pirate||Capitan Vallo||With Nick Cravat|
|Come Back, Little Sheba||Doc Delaney||With Shirley Booth|
|1953||South Sea Woman||Master Gunnery Sgt. James O'Hearn||With Virginia Mayo|
|From Here to Eternity||1st Sergeant Milton Warden||New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor|
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actor
|Three Sailors and a Girl||Marine (uncredited)||With Jane Powell|
|1954||His Majesty O'Keefe||Captain David O'Keefe / Narrator||With Joan Rice|
|Apache||Massai||With Jean Peters|
|Vera Cruz||Joe Erin||With Gary Cooper|
|1955||The Kentuckian||Elias Wakefield (Big Eli)||Director|
Nominated—Golden Lion for Best Director
|The Rose Tattoo||Alvaro Mangiacavallo||With Anna Magnani|
|1956||Trapeze||Mike Ribble||With Gina Lollobrigida and Tony Curtis|
Silver Bear for Best Actor at Berlin
|The Rainmaker||Bill Starbuck||Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama|
|1957||Gunfight at the O.K. Corral||Marshal Wyatt Earp||With Kirk Douglas|
Laurel Award for Top Male Action Star
|Sweet Smell of Success||J.J. Hunsecker||With Tony Curtis|
|1958||Run Silent, Run Deep||Lieutenant Commander Jim Bledsoe||With Clark Gable|
|Separate Tables||John Malcolm||With Rita Hayworth, Wendy Hiller, Deborah Kerr and David Niven|
|1959||The Devil's Disciple||Reverend Anthony Anderson||With Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier|
|1960||The Unforgiven||Ben Zachary||With Audrey Hepburn|
|Elmer Gantry||Elmer Gantry||Academy Award for Best Actor|
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Laurel Award for Top Male Dramatic Performance
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
|1961||The Young Savages||ADA Hank Bell||With Dina Merrill|
|Judgment at Nuremberg||Dr. Ernst Janning||With Spencer Tracy|
|1962||Birdman of Alcatraz||Robert Stroud||BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role|
Volpi Cup for Best Actor
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
Nominated—Laurel Award for Top Male Dramatic Performance
|1963||A Child Is Waiting||Dr. Matthew Clark||With Judy Garland|
|The Leopard||Prince Don Fabrizio Salina||With Claudia Cardinale and Alain Delon|
|The List of Adrian Messenger||Animal Rights Protester (cameo)||With George C. Scott|
|1964||Seven Days in May||General James Mattoon Scott||With Kirk Douglas, Frederic March and Ava Gardner|
Nominated—Laurel Award for Top Male Dramatic Performance
|1965||The Train||Paul Labiche||With Jeanne Moreau|
Nominated—Laurel Award for Top Male Action Performance
|The Hallelujah Trail||Colonel Thaddeus Gearhart||With Lee Remick|
|1966||The Professionals||Bill Dolworth||With Lee Marvin|
|1968||The Scalphunters||Joe Bass||With Shelley Winters|
Nominated—Laurel Award for Top Male Action Performance
|The Swimmer||Ned Merrill||With Janice Rule|
|1969||Jenny Is a Good Thing||Narrator|
|Castle Keep||Major Abraham Falconer||With Peter Falk|
|The Gypsy Moths||Mike Rettig||With Deborah Kerr|
|1970||Airport||Mel Bakersfeld||With Dean Martin|
|King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis||Himself|
|1971||Lawman||Bannock Marshal Jared Maddox||With Lee J. Cobb|
|Valdez Is Coming||Marshal Bob Valdez||With Susan Clark|
|1972||Ulzana's Raid||U.S. Cavalry Scout McIntosh||With Bruce Davison|
|1973||Scorpio||Cross||With Alain Delon|
|Executive Action||James Farrington||With Robert Ryan|
|1974||The Midnight Man||Jim Slade||Co-Director|
|Conversation Piece||The Professor||David di Donatello for Best Actor|
Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Foreign Movie Performer
|1976||Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson||Ned Buntline||With Paul Newman|
|1900||Alfredo Berlinghieri the Elder||With Robert De Niro|
|The Cassandra Crossing||Colonel Stephen Mackenzie||With Sophia Loren|
|1977||Twilight's Last Gleaming||General Lawrence Dell||With Richard Widmark|
|The Island of Dr. Moreau||Dr. Paul Moreau||With Michael York|
|1978||Go Tell the Spartans||Major Asa Barker||With Craig Wasson|
|1979||Zulu Dawn||Colonel Anthony Durnford||With Peter O'Toole|
|1980||Atlantic City||Lou Pascal||BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role|
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
David di Donatello for Best Actor
Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Foreign Movie Performer
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated—Genie Award for Best Performance by a Foreign Actor
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama
|1981||Cattle Annie and Little Britches||Bill Doolin, the Oklahoma outlaw||With Amanda Plummer and Diane Lane|
|The Skin||General Mark Cork||With Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Carlo Giuffrè|
|1983||Local Hero||Felix Happer||Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role|
|The Osterman Weekend||CIA Director Maxwell Danforth||With Rutger Hauer|
|1985||Little Treasure||Delbert Teschemacher||With Margot Kidder and Ted Danson|
|1986||Tough Guys||Harry Doyle||With Kirk Douglas|
|1987||Control||Dr. Herbert Monroe||With Ben Gazzara|
|1988||Rocket Gibraltar||Levi Rockwell||With Patricia Clarkson|
|The Jeweler's Shop||The Jeweler||With Olivia Hussey|
|1989||Field of Dreams||Dr. Archibald 'Moonlight' Graham||With Kevin Costner|
|1969||Sesame Street||Himself||Sequences on feelings, the alphabet, counting to 10 doing pushups|
|1974||Moses the Lawgiver||Moses||Miniseries|
|1976||Victory at Entebbe||Shimon Peres||With Anthony Hopkins|
|1978||The Unknown War||Narrator||20 episode USA-USSR archival documentary series on World War II|
|1982||Marco Polo||Teobaldo Visconti / Pope Gregory X||Miniseries|
|The Life of Verdi||Narrator (English version)||Miniseries|
|1985||Scandal Sheet||Harold Fallen||With Robert Urich|
|1986||On Wings of Eagles||Colonel Arthur D. "Bull" Simons||Miniseries|
|Fathers and Sons: A German Tragedy||Geheimrat Carl Julius Deutz||Miniseries|
|Barnum||Phineas Taylor "P.T." Barnum||With Hanna Schygulla|
|1989||Cops||Narrator||Provided narration on pilot episode: "Broward County, Florida 1"|
|The Betrothed||Cardinal Federigo Borromeo||Miniseries|
|1990||The Phantom of the Opera||Gerard Carriere||Miniseries|
Nominated – Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film
|Voyage of Terror: The Achille Lauro Affair||Leon Klinghoffer||With Eva Marie Saint|
|1991||Separate but Equal||John W. Davis||Miniseries|
For a number of years exhibitors voted Lancaster as among the most popular stars:
Spanish music group Hombres G released an album named La cagaste, Burt Lancaster (You messed up, Burt Lancaster) in 1986. Thomas Hart Benton painted a scene from The Kentuckian as part of the film's marketing. Lancaster posed for the painting, also known as The Kentuckian.
A Child Is Waiting is a 1963 American drama film written by Abby Mann based on his 1957 Westinghouse Studio One teleplay of the same name. The film was produced by Stanley Kramer and directed by John Cassavetes. Burt Lancaster portrays the director of a state institution for mentally handicapped and emotionally disturbed children, and Judy Garland is a new teacher who challenges his methods.All My Sons (film)
All My Sons is a 1948 drama film noir directed by Irving Reis, based on Arthur Miller's play of the same name, and starring Edward G. Robinson and Burt Lancaster. The supporting cast features Louisa Horton, Mady Christians, Howard Duff, Arlene Francis, and Harry Morgan.Apache (film)
Apache is a 1954 American western film starring Burt Lancaster. The film was based on the novel Broncho Apache by Paul Wellman, which was published in 1936.Atlantic City (1980 film)
Atlantic City is a 1980 French-Canadian romantic crime film directed by Louis Malle. Filmed in late 1979, it was released in France and Germany in 1980 and in the United States in 1981. The script was written by John Guare. It stars Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon, Kate Reid, Robert Joy, Hollis McLaren, Michel Piccoli, and Al Waxman.
Atlantic City was released on December 19, 1980 by Paramount Pictures. It received critical acclaim and was nominated for the Big FiveAcademy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (for Lancaster), Best Actress (for Sarandon), and Best Original Screenplay, but didn't win in any category. Despite this it was a box office disappointment, grossing 12.7 million against its $7.2 million budget.Birdman of Alcatraz (film)
Birdman of Alcatraz is a 1962 American biographical drama film starring Burt Lancaster and directed by John Frankenheimer. It is a largely fictionalized version of the life of Robert Stroud, a federal prison inmate known as the "Birdman of Alcatraz" because of his life with birds. In spite of the title, much of the action is set at Leavenworth Prison, where Stroud was jailed with his birds. When moved to Alcatraz he was not allowed to keep any pets.The film was adapted by Guy Trosper from the 1955 book by Thomas E. Gaddis. It was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Burt Lancaster), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Telly Savalas), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Thelma Ritter) and Best Cinematography, Black-and-White.Desert Fury
Desert Fury is a 1947 American crime film noir directed by Lewis Allen starring Lizabeth Scott, John Hodiak and Burt Lancaster, with Mary Astor and Wendell Corey.The story was adapted for the screen by A.I. Bezzerides and Robert Rossen, based on the racy novel Desert Town by Ramona Stewart. The picture was produced by Hal Wallis, with music by Miklós Rózsa and cinematography in Technicolor by Charles Lang.
The movie is now owned by Universal and is not available on DVD or Blu-Ray in the U.S., where film noir enthusiasts are campaigning to have the film restored, preserved and released on Blu-Ray.Field of Dreams
Field of Dreams is a 1989 American fantasy-drama sports film written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson, adapting W. P. Kinsella's novel Shoeless Joe. It stars Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Burt Lancaster in his final film role. It was nominated for three Academy Awards, including for Best Original Score, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.
In 2017, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".From Here to Eternity
From Here to Eternity is a 1953 American romantic drama film directed by Fred Zinnemann, and written by Daniel Taradash, based on the novel of the same name by James Jones. The picture deals with the tribulations of three U.S. Army soldiers, played by Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, and Frank Sinatra, stationed on Hawaii in the months leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Deborah Kerr and Donna Reed portray the women in their lives, and the supporting cast includes Ernest Borgnine, Philip Ober, Jack Warden, Mickey Shaughnessy, Claude Akins, and George Reeves.
The film won eight Academy Awards out of 13 nominations, including awards for Best Picture, Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Adapted Screenplay, Supporting Actor (Frank Sinatra), and Supporting Actress (Donna Reed). The film's title originally comes from a quote from Rudyard Kipling's 1892 poem "Gentlemen-Rankers", about soldiers of the British Empire who had "lost [their] way" and were "damned from here to eternity".
In 2002, From Here to Eternity was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".La cagaste... Burt Lancaster
La cagaste... Burt Lancaster (the Spanish for "You screwed it up... Burt Lancaster") is the second studio album by Spanish rock band Hombres G, released in 1986.Local Hero (1983 film)
Local Hero is a 1983 Scottish comedy-drama film written and directed by Bill Forsyth and starring Peter Riegert, Denis Lawson, Fulton Mackay and Burt Lancaster. Produced by David Puttnam, the film is about an American oil company representative who is sent to the fictional village of Ferness on the west coast of Scotland to purchase the town and surrounding property for his company. For his work on the film, Forsyth won the 1984 BAFTA Award for Best Direction.
A stage musical adaptation is scheduled to receive its world premiere in 2019.Rope of Sand
Rope of Sand is a 1949 adventure-suspense film noir produced by Hal Wallis, and directed by William Dieterle. Set in South West Africa, the film stars Wallis contract star Burt Lancaster and three stars from Wallis's Casablanca - Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, and Peter Lorre. The film introduces Corinne Calvet, and features Sam Jaffe, John Bromfield, and Kenny Washington in supporting roles. Desert portions of the film were shot in Yuma, Arizona.Scorpio (film)
Scorpio is a 1973 American spy film directed by Michael Winner and starring Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon and Paul Scofield.Separate Tables (film)
Separate Tables is a 1958 American drama film starring Rita Hayworth, Deborah Kerr, David Niven, Burt Lancaster, and Wendy Hiller, based on two one-act plays by Terence Rattigan that were collectively known by this name. Niven and Hiller won Academy Awards for their performances. The picture was directed by Delbert Mann and adapted for the screen by Rattigan, John Gay and an uncredited John Michael Hayes. Mary Grant and Edith Head designed the film's costumes.The Kentuckian
The Kentuckian is a 1955 Technicolor and CinemaScope adventure film directed by Burt Lancaster, who also starred. This was one of only two films Lancaster directed (the other was The Midnight Man), and the only one for which he has sole credit. It also marked the feature film debut of Walter Matthau. The picture is an adaptation of the novel The Gabriel Horn by Felix Holt. The picture was shot on location in Kentucky in the Cumberland Falls area, the Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park near London, Owensboro and Green River, and at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Village near Rockport, Indiana.The Killers (1946 film)
The Killers (also known as A Man Alone) is a 1946 American film noir directed by Robert Siodmak and based in part on the 1927 short story of the same name by Ernest Hemingway.It stars Burt Lancaster in his film debut, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, and Sam Levene. The film also features William Conrad in his first credited role, as one of the killers referred to in the title. An uncredited John Huston and Richard Brooks co-wrote the screenplay, which was credited to Anthony Veiller.
In 2008, The Killers was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."The Midnight Man (1974 film)
The Midnight Man is a 1974 American mystery film starring and co-directed by Burt Lancaster. The film also stars Susan Clark, Cameron Mitchell, Morgan Woodward, Harris Yulin, Robert Quarry, Joan Lorring, Lawrence Dobkin, Ed Lauter, Mills Watson, Charles Tyner and Catherine Bach.Trapeze (film)
Trapeze is a 1956 American circus film directed by Carol Reed and starring Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis and Gina Lollobrigida, making her debut in American films. The film is based on Max Catto's novel The Killing Frost, with the adapted screenplay written by Liam O'Brien.The film did well at the box office placing in the top three among the year's top earners.Valdez Is Coming
Valdez Is Coming is a 1971 American western film directed by Edwin Sherin and starring Burt Lancaster, Susan Clark, Richard Jordan and Jon Cypher. The film is based on the Elmore Leonard novel of the same name.Vengeance Valley
Vengeance Valley is a 1951 American western film directed by Richard Thorpe and starring Burt Lancaster, with a supporting cast featuring Robert Walker, Joanne Dru, Sally Forrest, John Ireland and Ray Collins. It is based on the novel by Luke Short. In 1979, the film entered the public domain in the United States because Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer did not renew its copyright registration in the 28th year after publication.