Light and Truth
You Are Special
"People who hate the light usually hate the truth." ~ Burt Lancaster
Born on this day in New York City, movie star Burton Stephen Lancaster (1913-1994) grew up in a rough East Harlem neighborhood where his father was a postal clerk. Burt said the kids on his block "used to carry knives."
Lancaster worked as a circus acrobat before becoming the athletic 1950s and 60s leading man known for his passion and commanding screen presence.
With a wash-board stomach, he could alternate between rugged hero to sensitive, art-house roles. Muscled, but full of grace.
"Most people seem to think Iím the kind of guy who shaves with a blowtorch," he said, eyes blue and stunning. "Actually, Iím bookish and worrisome."
He was Wyatt Earp to Kirk Douglas' Doc Holiday in 1957's Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, one of six collaborations for the two film legends. At age 47, he was still doing daily two-mile laps around the UCLA track.
"Everybody changes," he said. "I hope I have."
The book-loving craftsman won an Oscar for his role as con man evangelist Elmer Gantry (1960) and was unforgettable as Sgt. Milton Warden in From Here to Eternity (1953). In the title role of the Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), Lancaster played Stroud, a real person in prison who became a living authority on birds.
"This was not just a tale of a man in prison," he said. His is a story of man's fight for his individuality, a battle against conformity, the story of man's indomitable will power under stress."
His portrayal of a small-town hood who romanced Susan Sarandon in Atlantic City (1980) celebrated his enduring vitality and charisma.
Look with faith to the light.