The King is Dead. Long Live the King.

Well, Oscar season is upon us, and I think it's high time we pay our due respects to the dearly departed.
"The dearly departed" is, in this case, a singular. I can't imagine caring less if that old harpy from Driving Miss Daisy died again. No, I'm referring, of course, to Jack Palance.
I'll bet a lot of you didn't know that he was dead. I can't blame you, really -- who thought he even could die? We all thought he would just keep going on and on, growling and squinting, until he just faded away, hopefully on horseback, and in the arms of a very leathery woman.
Alas, fate is too cruel a mistress to allow King Jack this final, dignified departure from mortality. No, Jack Palance, on November 10, 2006, was killed by his own chimpanzees, bleeding to death after having his genitals torn from his body.

Jack Palance's "Jungle-mania" chimp sanctuary is more or less common knowledge, I think. The name can be misleading, however: "Jungle-mania" was, more than anything else, simply a large cage containing three chimps, located near the back of Jack Palance's compound, or "Rancho Jacko," as he called it.
Anyway, he loved those three chimps, and made sure to visit and feed them several times a week.
But November was a bad month. Rancho Jacko is in Montana, and a cold chimp is a grumpy chimp, and Jack himself had been battling the blues for some time, after the less than spectacular DVD sales of Prancer 2 and The Incredible Adventures of Marco Polo. My personal theory is that Jack was afraid that he might have to sell the chimps, his friends, and he was displacing anger on them.
Reports from the neighbors have him throwing himself against the outside of the chimp cage, late on the 10th, and screaming insults at them. Unfortunately, Jack Palance's insults and obscenities eventually became so slurred that the neighbors were unable to discern exactly when they must have changed from shrieks of rage to howls of agony. The police were not called until the next morning, and by then it was far too late.

The chimps, it seems, must have siezed Jack by the nightgown and battered him against the bars of the cage. Jack Palance was significantly tougher than the average man, but chimpanzees are many times stronger than any human, and he was very badly roughed up. It was Jack's exceptionally leathery skin that kept his 6' 4", 86 year old body from being wholey dismembered, but the chimps must have exerted special force against the genital region, for they were ripped off, right out from under the nightgown.

Jack Palance's remains, in accordance with his wishes, were disolved in acid during a small service of family and friends. His genitals, however, were never found, and are presumed to have been eaten by the chimps. Many have found this little detail to be somewhat ironic, as Jack Palance's autobiography, "Strength in Anger," states that "Eat my balls" was perhaps his favorite shouted challenge.

It should be noted, as well, that Jack Palance's twin brother, Duke, the star of City Slickers 2, died the very next day, November 11. It seems that he was hit by several stray tranquilizer darts as he attempted to pull Jack's body away from Jungle-mania. The animal handler who fired the darts claims they were meant for the chimpanzees. A criminal investigation is pending. Duke Palance's remains, in accordance with Jack's wishes, have been sent to the Pennsylvania mining country of their birth, and sunk in an abandoned coal mine.

Jack Palance was born Volodymir Ivanovich Palahniuk, and once fell asleep in his square during a taping of Hollywood Squares.

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