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October 1, 2020

25 Gorgeous Vintage Photos of Burt Lancaster in the 1950s

Burton Stephen Lancaster (November 2, 1913 – October 20, 1994) was an American actor and producer. Initially known for playing tough guys with a tender heart, he went on to achieve success with more complex and challenging roles over a 45-year career in film and, later, television. He was a four-time nominee for the Academy Award for Best Actor (winning once), and he also won two BAFTA Awards and one Golden Globe Award for Best Lead Actor.

Lancaster performed as a circus acrobat in the 1930s. After serving in World War II, the 32-year-old Lancaster landed a role in a Broadway play and drew the attention of a Hollywood agent. His breakthrough role was the film noir The Killers in 1946 alongside Ava Gardner. A critical success, it launched both of their careers.

In 1953, Lancaster played the illicit lover of Deborah Kerr in the military drama From Here to Eternity. A box office smash, it won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and landed a Best Actor nomination for Lancaster. In 1956, he starred in The Rainmaker, with Katharine Hepburn, earning a Best Actor Golden Globe nomination, and in Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in 1957, with frequent co-star Kirk Douglas.

During the 1950s, his production company, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster, was highly successful, with Lancaster acting in films such as: Trapeze in 1956, a box office smash in which he used his acrobatic skills; Sweet Smell of Success (1957), a dark drama today considered a classic; Run Silent, Run Deep (1958), a WWII submarine drama with Clark Gable; and Separate Tables (1958), a hotel-set drama which received seven Oscar nominations.

In the early 1960s, Lancaster starred in a string of critically successful films, each in very disparate roles. Playing a charismatic biblical con-man in Elmer Gantry in 1960 won him the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for Best Actor. He played a Nazi war criminal in 1961 in the all-star, war-crime-trial film, Judgment at Nuremberg.

In 1970, Lancaster starred in the box-office hit, air-disaster drama Airport. He experienced a career resurgence in 1980 with the crime-romance Atlantic City, winning the BAFTA for Best Actor and landing his fourth Oscar nomination. Starting in the late 1970s, he also appeared in television mini-series, including the award-winning Separate but Equal with Sidney Poitier.

Take a look back at the classic Hollywood actor during the 1950s through 25 gorgeous vintage photographs below:

(Silver Screen Collection)

(Silver Screen Collection)

(Silver Screen Collection)

(Silver Screen Collection)

(Pictorial Parade)

Works out on the bars on the set of 'The Crimson Pirate' in Ischia. (Archive Photos)

(ullstein bild)

As the athlete Jim Thorpe in the film 'Jim Thorpe – All-American.' (Bettmann)

Waving farewell to London at Waterloo Station. (PA Images)

As Sergeant Milton Warden in the film 'From Here to Eternity.' (John Kobal)

In a scene from the film 'From Here to Eternity.' (John Kobal Foundation)

At The Daily News. (NY Daily News)


During the filming of 'His Majesty O'Keefe.' (Silver Screen Collection)

Jumping over a fence on a studio set. (Gene Lester)

Promotional portrait for the film 'The Rose Tattoo.' (Sunset Boulevard)

In costume in the film 'The Kentuckian.' (Mondadori)

In a still for the film 'Trapeze.' (United Artists)

Promotional portrait for the film 'The Rainmaker.' (Sunset Boulevard)

In the film 'Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.' (Pictorial Parade)

Rehearsing a dance act in preparation for 'Night of 100 Stars' charity benefit at the London Palladium with Kirk Douglas. (Bettmann)

In costume in the film 'The Devil's Disciple.' (United Artists)

In costume in the film 'The Devil's Disciple.' (Silver Screen Collection)


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