Burton Stephen "Burt" Lancaster (November 2, 1913 – October 20, 1994) was an American film actor noted for his athletic physique and distinctive smile (which he called "The Grin"). In fact, he was initially dismissed as "Mr Muscles and Teeth." Later he took roles that went against his initial "tough guy" image. In the late 1950's Lancaster abandoned his "all-American" image and came to be regarded as one of the best actors of his generation.
Lancaster was nominated four times for Academy Awards and won once — for his work in Elmer Gantry in 1960. He also won a Golden Globe for that performance and BAFTA Awards for The Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) and Atlantic City (1980). His production company, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster, was the most successful and innovative star-driven independent production company in 1950's Hollywood, making movies such as Marty (1955), Trapeze (1956), and Sweet Smell of Success (1957).
Lancaster also directed two films: The Kentuckian (1955) and The Midnight Man (1974).
In 1999, the American Film Institute named Lancaster nineteenth among the greatest male stars of all time.
As Lancaster grew older, heart trouble increasingly hindered him from working. He nearly died during a routine gall bladder operation in January 1980. Following two minor heart attacks he had to undergo an emergency quadruple heart bypass in 1983, after which he was in frail health. He suffered a severe stroke in November 1990, which left him partly paralyzed and with restricted speech. Lancaster died in his Century City apartment in Los Angeles from a third heart attack on October 20, 1994. He is buried at Westwood Village Memorial Park in Westwood Village in Los Angeles.