#8 Favorite Actor of the 1960′s ~ Burt Lancaster

26 Jun

Rugged, handsome and athletic, Burt Lancaster was a self-taught actor who started out playing small parts and quickly was catapulted to stardom with his role in From Here to Eternity and that forever memorable scene with Deborah Kerr on the Beach, but in the 1960’s Burt began to take on more versatile roles in films like Elmer Gantry (which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor) and Birdman of Alcatraz.
Lancaster was also an unabashed liberal activist and spoke out many times in support of minorities and forming liberal groups. He was a vocal opponent of the Vietnam War and McCarthyism. In 1985 Lancaster, a longtime supporter of gay rights, joined the fight against AIDS after Rock Hudson became ill. Biographer Kate Buford believes Lancaster was bisexual.
As famous for his prickly, temperamental personality as much as he was for his willingness and skills at taking on different characterizations, Lancaster vigorously guarded his private life. He was married three times and had five children. His first spouse, from 1935 to 1946, was June Ernst, whom he divorced. His second marriage was with Norma Anderson from 1946 to 1969 and also ended in divorce, reportedly because Norma couldn’t tolerate his “ladies man” behavior. From Norma, he had Billy, James, Susan, and Shelia; 4 of his children. His third wife was Susan Martin, whom he married in September 1990.
Burt Lancaster died of a heart attack at the age of 80, at home in Los Angeles on October 20, 1994. He was cremated; his ashes were interred at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.

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