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Thursday, July 02, 2009

I've had to write too many of these recently...

Besides being an Oscar winning actor who played in some of the most iconic American films history, a celebrated stage actor, and Emmy-winning TV actor, Malden was also an all-around nice guy. He was a terrific ambassador of Hollywood, giving back to the community, and supporting various theater programs. Perhaps his greatest achievement of all was his 70 year marraige to his wife Mona.

My 3 Favorite Karl Malden roles:

1) Harold "Mitch" Mitchell, A Streetcar Named Desire
Often the foil for other more explosive acting performances gets overlooked, but Malden won a deserving Best Supporting Actor Oscar essentially being the mediating force between Brando, Leigh, and the rest of the cast.
2) General Omar Bradley, Patton
Once again playing second fiddle to a virtuosic performance (here Scott's Patton), Malden gives some of the best lines in this overlooked and controversial war film; nobody still really knows where to place this film; glorification? Dark satire? New American Cinema or Studio Establishment piece?
3)Father Berry, On the Waterfront
Malden may have been the only actor capable of being able to hold his own opposite of the force of nature that was Brando. Here he gives one of the great all-time clergy perormances in what's probably the best American film of the second half of the 20th century.

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