Jack Nance Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (14)  | Personal Quotes (1)  | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Died in Pasadena, California, USA  (homicide)
Birth NameMarvin John Nance
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born in Boston of Irish ancestry and raised in Dallas, Jack Nance traveled throughout the country doing children's theater. For eight years, he performed with the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Later, he became involved with avant-garde theater. He first met David Lynch in the early 1970s in Philadelphia while he was performing in a local theater, and Lynch decided to cast him as the lead in Eraserhead (1977). Originally, it was to be a six-week shooting project, but due to budget restrictions and technical complications, the production and filming took nearly five years to complete. Nance relocated to Los Angeles in the early 1980s, where he appeared in unusual and widely praised films that were not always considered mainstream Hollywood. He has appeared in almost every movie by Lynch, including the television series Twin Peaks (1990), usually playing secondary characters or quirky supporting parts. Nance died suddenly and unexpectedly on December 30, 1996 from an apparent internal head injury the morning after getting into a physical brawl at a donut shop with some rowdy patrons.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: matt-282

Spouse (2)

Kelly Van Dyke (21 June 1991 - 17 November 1991) ( her death)
Catherine E. Coulson (20 April 1968 - 1976) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (2)

Bold blue eyes
Frequently worked with director 'David Lynch'

Trivia (14)

His death was the result of a brawl in a parking lot outside a Winchell's Donuts store in South Pasadena near his apartment building during the early morning hours of December 29, 1996. Later that day at around 12 noon, he lunched with friends Leo Bulgarini and Catherine Case at a local restaurant. According to them, Nance had a visible "crescent shaped bruise" under his right eye and when they asked him how he got it, he told them the story about the fight by first quoting: "I told off some homeless kids. I guess I got what I deserved." Nance claimed that at around 5:00 am, he got into a fistfight with two men who he referred to as "long-haired hippies" or "homeless crack-heads" in the parking lot outside the donut store while waiting for it to open. According to Nance, "two homeless bums" walked up to him and begged him for spare change. Nance refused to give them any money by mouthing off to them and saying: "get a job and a haircut", and a brawl ensued where Nance received several punches (and possible kicks) to his face during the fight as he was knocked down to the ground. There were no witnesses to the incident and it remains unclear if Nance had been drinking during that morning or who threw the first punch. He soon went home from the restaurant, complaining of a headache. However, the head injuries he received caused a subdural hematoma, resulting in his death the following morning over 24 hours later after receiving the injuries. Nance died alone in his apartment. His dead body, clad in a robe and pajamas, was discovered on the bathroom floor by Bulgarini who checked up at around noon on December 30. An autopsy revealed that the actor's blood alcohol level was .24 percent at the time of his death.
Appeared in Suicidal Tendencies' video for the song, "Institutionalized".
Goes by his middle name John in Eraserhead (1977) and by the stage name Jack for the rest of his career.
Up to the last moment, he was considered for the lead in The Graduate (1967), the part that went to Dustin Hoffman .
Son-in-law of Jerry Van Dyke.
Nephew-in-law of Dick Van Dyke.
Attended South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas, Texas.
Widower of Kelly Van Dyke.
His second wife, Kelly Van Dyke, aka Nancee Kelly, committed suicide by hanging on November 17, 1991. According to his younger brother Richard Nance, Jack, who was in Bass Lake, California, filming Meatballs 4 at the time, attempted to console her on the phone as she threatened suicide. A lightning storm knocked out the phones in Oregon, subsequently taking over 45 minutes for Nance and the director, Bobby Logan, to find a deputy sheriff who contacted Los Angeles police and the apartment manager. They broke into the cabin and found that she had hanged herself.
Despite already being a well-established and busy mainstream actor, for some reason he appeared in Old Fashioned Spankings (1991), hardcore "spanking video". As of 2016 he's allegedly the only mainstream actor to do so.
Made a final, posthumous appearance in Twin Peaks (2017), over twenty years after his death, although this was re-used footage of his first scene in the pilot episode.
Suffered from alcoholism most of his adult life and was in an AA recovery group off-and-on for over 10 years prior to his death.
Got into a major car accident during the filming of one of his last movies, Little Witches, in April 1996 where he suffered an injured left knee in which he had to walk with a cane for the remainder of his life.
Suffered from two minor strokes 18 months before he died.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on his haircut in Eraserhead (1977) coming into vogue] David told me that. He said, "You know, Jack, one of these days guys are going to be *trying* to get their hair like that." At which time I told him, "Well that's when I'm going to leave the country."

Salary (1)

Eraserhead (1977) $25 /week

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro Pro Name Page Link

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed