Burt Lancaster sent shockwaves through Hollywood when he rolled around in the surf with Deborah Kerr in From Here to Eternity. His body was as tight and plucked as a contemporary underwear model—but this was the 1950s and men didn’t do that. The rumors started flying: Was Lancaster gay? Attending debauched parties? Was he maybe even a communist?? The man himself said very little about his private affairs; instead, he let his actions speak for themselves.
1. He Grew Up On The Streets
Burt Lancaster was born at his family’s home in East Harlem, New York on November 2, 1913. His parents were both working-class Irish immigrants who insisted that, although they lived in the slums, they were a better sort of folk, destined for great things. Lancaster didn’t care about that: He ran free and wild on the streets—at least when his authoritative mother wasn’t around.