A street kid from East Harlem, Burt Lancaster (1913-1994), after a stint as a circus acrobat, got a late start in pictures – but his star personality, among the most powerful in film history, was there from the beginning: from the doom-laden twisted hunks in films noir; to the grinning hot dogs in spoof adventure films; to the sleaziest of con men, Nazi collaborators, and tabloid columnists; to stalwart leaders of men; to idealistic fanatics; to a supremely dignified icon of another age.
“His vitality was more than cheerfulness or strength; he seemed charged with power…
One of the great stars. Maybe the last.”
– David Thomson