One of the greatest Hollywood stars of all time, Burt Lancaster was a success story in both acting and maintaining relevancy. Turning his brusque physicality into roles did well, but then almost too well as he began to be typecast.
Breaking free from these roles, flexing his more complex talents, the athletic actor became more involved on the production side of films as well as picking up more nuanced performances. In the days before every movie star needed a six-pack to star in a tentpole, Lancaster set the standard for jockish Americana on screen.
Philip Brubaker’s career-spanning video essay on the actor serves as both appreciation and education, illuminating an actor whose career trajectory would serve as a template for many in the future – from pro wrestlers to comedian/action heroes.