Death of a legend

Nick Cravat (right) with Burt Lancaster in The Crimson Pirate.

Today marks the seventeenth anniversary of the death of Nick Cravat, actor and acrobat. Cravat in his youth formed what was to be a lifelong friendship with Burt Lancaster, the pair eventually appearing in seven movies together. Early on they developed an acrobatic act which they performed in vaudeville and circuses and which later became a part of two movies, The Crimson Pirate (the inspiration for Pirates Of The Caribbean) and The Flame And The Arrow, in both of which he played a mute. Due to his thick, unmistakable Brooklyn accent It was the only way he could successfully play in such period costume pieces. His acrobatic ability, sense of comic timing and sharply expressive face more than made up for his lack of dialogue. He also played the gremlin (another mute character) in the Twilight Zone episode Nightmare at 20,000 Feet. He was a character actor par excellence.


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