Nick Cravat

A muscular, pint-sized acrobat with wavy hair and dark, swarthy good looks, he was Burt Lancaster's partner when they formed Lang and Cravat and toured in circuses and vaudeville in the 1930s. Lancaster largely left the tumbling world when he injured his hand and later went into war service; Cravat, meanwhile, continued solo and also appeared in bit parts in several films. When Lancaster hit it big after WWII and moved from noirs to hearty action pictures, he called on his old pal to spice up the goings-on with some spectacular acrobatics. Cravat obliged his longtime friend splendidly as his comic sidekick in two enjoyably tongue-in-cheek swashbucklers, "The Flame and the Arrow" (1950) and "The Crimson Pirate" (1952). He subsequently enjoyed a rather modest screen career almost entirely playing bit parts in films starring Lancaster. Although Cravat played roles in non-Lancaster films ranging from "The Veils of Bagdad" (1953) to "The Way West" (1967), most of his credits--"Run Silent, Run Deep" (1958), "The Scalphunters" (1968) and his last, "The Island of Dr. Moreau" (1977)--prominently featured Cravat's roistering buddy of long standing.