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Oscar push-ups

Oscar push-ups

March 30, 1992: Actor Jack Palance accepts his best supporting actor Oscar with several one-arm push-ups. Palance won for his role as the tough cowboy Curley Washborn in “City Slickers.”

While “Silence of the Lambs” swept the major awards, Palance’s push-ups became Oscar legend.

Los Angeles Times staff writers Elaine Dutka and David J. Fox reported the next day:

Best supporting actor Jack Palance, the tough cowpoke in “City Slickers,” ambled into the press room, Oscar in hand, and proceeded to downplay the importance of winning at this point in his career. Earlier on, he had been a best supporting nominee for 1952’s “Sudden Fear” and 1953’s “Shane.”

“It would have meant more 40 years ago,” the 72-year-old actor said dismissively. “I would probably have tried a lot of other things in the film business instead of going to Europe and saying ‘The hell with Hollywood. . . . I’m not going to act again.’ Now it’s nice, but it would have been more exciting then.”

Palace was also quoted in the March 31, 1992, L.A. Times:

A long time ago, in 1949, when I did my first picture, the producer came to me and said, “Jack, you’re going to win the Academy Award . . .” Forty-two years later, he was right.

The Academy Awards host that evening, Billy Crystal — co-star in “City Slickers” — turned Palance’s push-ups into the running gag for the evening’s Oscar show.  Among Palance’s accomplishments, according to Crystal, was bungee jumping off the Hollywood sign, visiting the orbiting space shuttle and fathering all the kids in a production number.

The 1993 Academy Awards show opened with host Billy Crystal mounted upon a large Oscar statue towed by Jack Palance — using only his teeth.

Every time the Los Angeles Times looks back at Palance’s one-arm push-ups, this photo by former Los Angeles Times staff photo Marsha T. Gorman gets republished.

In 2006, Jack Palance passed away at age 87.


  1. February 24, 2011, 12:29 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by PhotojournSG and rupeshnandy, Mickey Tachibana. Mickey Tachibana said: Oscar push-ups: March 30, 1992: Actor Jack Palance accepts his best supporting actor Oscar with several one-arm … […]

  2. February 24, 2011, 8:26 pm

    What an actor! What a man! Jack Palance, you are missed. RIP.

    By: moonmaid

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