Skip to main content
Original Issue

Palance was a pushy pug...Sergeant Tomba, carabiniere...Boom Boom, out go the lights

To erstwhile professional boxer Jack Palance, the Oscar for best supporting actor for his role in City Slickers. When Palance, 72, dropped to the floor to do a set of one-handed push-ups before accepting the statuette, he was merely reliving the glory of his youth. The former Vladimir Palahnuik, son of Ukrainian immigrants who settled in Lattimer, Pa., won 18 of 22 bouts in clubs from Brooklyn to Louisville before he turned to acting. In 1953 a New York Herald Tribune reporter found Palance, a physical fitness nut long before it became a national obsession, doing push-ups on the set of the movie Second Chance. He bragged he could do 180 when he was in trim. "Push-ups," he said, "stimulate me the way a drink does most people." Obviously.

Skier Alberto Tomba, to the rank of sergeant in the carabinieri, Italy's paramilitary police. Tomba, 25, who won a gold medal in the giant slalom at the Winter Olympics, has been a member of the force since he was 18. He received his first promotion, to corporal, after he won two golds at the Calgary Games in 1988. Tomba won't be defusing la bomba—or doing any other kind of police work—anytime soon. His duties are largely ceremonial, and he rarely dons his dark-blue uniform. "I like this getup," Tomba said after a ceremony in Rome, during which he received his white chevrons from Defense Minister Virginio Rognoni.

Former lightweight champion Ray (Boom Boom) Mancini, by Greg Haugen, in a bout in Reno that was stopped after Mancini ate canvas in the seventh round. "That's enough, son," referee Mills Lane said softly. "One more punch would be criminal." Haugen becomes the North American Boxing Federation's junior welterweight champion; Mancini, who was trying to emerge from a three-year retirement, becomes a full-time movie actor. "I love pretending," said Mancini, 31. "Friday night was reality."

The French Tennis Federation, over the resignation of Yannick Noah as captain of France's Davis Cup team. Noah quit after the French, who won the Cup in 1991, were ousted from the '92 competition by Switzerland. French officials were hoping to persuade the flamboyant, 31-year-old Noah to change his mind, but he said he wanted to spend more time on his nascent singing career. "Yannick is irreplaceable," said team member Guy Forget, one of the players Noah publicly ripped after the loss to the Swiss.

The left hip joint of former two-sport star Bo Jackson, with a metal-and-plastic implant, during surgery at Palos Community Hospital in Palos Hills, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. A degenerative condition in the hip caused by a football injury forced Jackson to retire from that sport last year, and his baseball career was put on hold in March when it became obvious that he could not even walk without pain. Jackson, 29, hopes to return to the Chicago While Sox next season. "He's not done yet," said White Sox trainer Herm Schneider.



Palance's Oscar act wasn't a new one.