Marlon Brando
American actor
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American screen and stage actor. He is widely regarded as having had a significant impact on the art of film acting. While he became notorious for his "mumbling" diction and exuding a raw animal magnetism, his mercurial performances were nonetheless highly regarded, and he is widely considered as one of the greatest and most influential actors of the 20th century. Director Martin Scorsese said of him, "He is the marker.
Biography
Marlon Brando's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Marlon Brando from around the web
11 Times The Oscars Honored White Actors For Playing People Of Color
Huffington Post - 3 days
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has made strides to become more diverse in recent years, but there’s a long road ahead to make up for the organization’s long legacy of exclusion. Throughout its 90-year history, the Academy has not only failed to recognize the talent of many actors and actresses of color but awarded whitewashed roles in the industry. Hollywood has consistently given diverse roles to white actors over the years; in fact, quite recently when Tilda Swinton was cast in 2016’s “Doctor Strange” as the Ancient One, a character who is Tibetan in the Marvel comics. And The Oscars haven’t helped alleviate this long-standing issue by rewarding this kind of whitewashing.  Several notable white actors have been nominated for an Oscar for portraying people of color through the years. Many of them have actually won.  Take a look at 11 times the academy has nominated actors for blackface, brownface and yellowface.  Jennifer Connelly, “A Beautiful Mind” ...
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From Brando To Leo, Political Speeches Have Long Dominated The Oscars
Huffington Post - 7 days
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Actor Interview: Greg Braun of The New Collective
Huffington Post - 25 days
Greg Braun is an actor, director, and co-owner of The New Collective acting studio in Los Angeles. Since I first met Greg Braun in 1999 at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, I have been in awe of his talent. I've had the privilege of seeing him perform on stage and screen, and I appreciate the depth and truth he brings to each character. I recently caught up with Greg to learn more about his dynamic career in the arts and the important work of The New Collective LA. How did you discover your passion for the art of acting? I was a freshman in high school, and lucky enough to have an incredible drama teacher, Rich Russo, who encouraged me and helped me believe in myself. Do you remember the first time you truly loved an acting performance? It was interesting. As a teenager when I started to become interested in the complexities of great acting performances, I always loved the older male characters the most. The strongest memory I have was seeing Brando in "The Godf ...
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War movie 'Apocalypse Now' getting its own videogame
Yahoo News - about 1 month
(Reuters) - Francis Ford Coppola is developing an interactive, psychological horror videogame based on his epic Vietnam War film "Apocalypse Now," and is asking the public to contribute $900,000 toward the cost of making it. By Thursday, one day after Coppola's announcement, the fund had reached $55,000. The interactive game will involve role playing with gamers taking on the character of U.S. army Captain Willard (played by Martin Sheen in the 1979 movie), who is on a secret mission to assassinate renegade Colonel Kurtz (played by Marlon Brando), the director said in a statement.
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You’ll Want To Read This Scorching Satire Of 'American Values'
Huffington Post - about 1 month
SUVs, red meat, Jesus. If a dissenter’s view of Middle America were turned into a Bingo card, Kate Zambreno’s debut novel O Fallen Angel ― recently reissued by Harper Perennial ― would win the game a few pages in. The short book has been described by Lidia Yuknavitch ― who also makes her political ideas known through her fiction and first published Zambreno in 2010 as part of her “Undoing the Novel” contest ― as a triptych. There are three main characters: Mommy, Maggie and Malachi. Mommy is a Midwestern housewife who prioritizes her family life and expects her children to do the same. She willfully ignores anything unpleasant, including her own intrusive thoughts that may contradict her Catholic beliefs. Maggie, her daughter, is one of those unpleasant thoughts. After dropping out of college, she mostly spends her time sleeping with men who don’t return her affections, an affliction that leaves her depressed and without the support needed to pursue medical help. Malachi is a p ...
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Bernardo Bertolucci Misses The Mark In Response To ‘Last Tango In Paris’ Rape Scene Controversy
Huffington Post - 3 months
On Monday, film director Bernardo Bertolucci responded to the backlash over a controversial rape scene in his film “Last Tango in Paris.”  In a recently resurfaced video interview, Bertolucci revealed the scene was not consensual, causing outrage on the internet. Now, he’s saying that what actually happened to actress Maria Schneider on set is all a “ridiculous misunderstanding.” In a statement obtained by Variety, translated from Italian, the director said, “Several years ago at the Cinemathèque Francaise someone asked me for details on the famous butter scene. I specified, but perhaps I was not clear, that I decided with Marlon Brando not to inform Maria that we would have used butter. We wanted her spontaneous reaction to that improper use [of the butter]. That is where the misunderstanding lies. Somebody thought, and thinks, that Maria had not been informed about the violence on her. That is false!” According to Bertolucci, Schneider was aware of everything else in the s ...
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Hollywood, It's Time To Stand Up
Huffington Post - 4 months
One morning, over breakfast, my father said to me "If a man can't go his own way, he's nothing. The moment you give up what you stand for for fame or money, that's the moment you lose your soul." Yeah, it's heavy talk for a kid over Rice Crispies, but, my Dad was a pretty deep guy. And, he was a man who stood up, and spoke the truth. Sometimes, it made me cringe with nervousness. But, in the end, it was what made me most proud. And that was how that morning's particular chat started. I asked why more people like him didn't stand up and speak up. He told me the truth. Hollywood is full of pussies. It always has been. There have always been those that bowed out from doing the right thing, and hid behind whatever cloak they think made their cowardice palatable. And then, there were those few. The mavericks. The do-what-is-righters, no matter what the cost is on the other end of maintaining their integrity. The ones that stood up to be counted on the right side of history. The ...
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5 Things We Learned From TV News Channel Coverage Of This Long, Long, Long Election Campaign
Huffington Post - 4 months
Anyone who thinks a minor event like voting is going to shut down the television news industry's coverage of the 2016 presidential election probably also thinks The Walking Dead is a spinoff from the Grateful Dead. Nope, in all likelihood Tuesday's voting will give the TV news channels a chance to say, "Hmmm, someone won, that's interesting," and wade right back in. Truth is, we've learned a lot both from and about contemporary television news in this election. These haven't all been new lessons, but since CNN, Fox News and MSNBC have covered little else over the past 18 months, it seems reasonable to tick off at least these five takeaways. 1. Television cameras love bright shiny objects. From the moment he announced his candidacy, Donald Trump hasn't been able to change a pin position on one of his golf courses without some network televising it. Some of this is because they don't want to be AWOL if he says something wacky, but beyond that, he's just got a commanding ...
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The 5 Best Celebrity-Owned Resorts
Huffington Post - 4 months
For Condé Nast Traveler, by Paul Rubio. From Marlon Brando’s reworked private island paradise to Francis Ford Coppola’s secret Guatemala retreat, here are ten of our favorite celebrity-backed resorts across the world. 1. The Brando, French Polynesia The spirit of legendary American actor, film director — and environmental steward — Marlon Brando is immortalized at Tetiaroa, his beloved private atoll in French Polynesia, which now houses this 35-villa, eco-conscious (yet ultra-luxe) retreat, one of the Pacific’s greenest hotel projects to date. See our list of celebrity villas you can rent (or buy) right now 2. GoldenEye Resort, Jamaica Chris Blackwell has produced music for Bob Marley and U2, but he is also famous for his Island Outpost hotel collection in Jamaica, which includes this waterfront resort, an adaptive reuse of Ian Fleming’s former home that was expanded in spring 2016 with 26 new beach huts. 3. La Lancha, Guatemala This ten-room boutique lodg ...
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'Hamilton,' Ava DuVernay And 'Billy Lynn' Are Headlining The 2016 New York Film Festival
Huffington Post - 5 months
In addition to the first glimpses of cardigan weather, an annual harbinger of fall in Manhattan is the New York Film Festival. Kicking off Friday and running through Oct. 16, the cinematic gala picks up where September’s trifecta (the Venice, Telluride and Toronto film festivals) leave off, ushering in prestige films from across the globe as Hollywood prepares for winter’s more art-house-oriented releases.  This year’s NYFF opens with the premiere of Ava DuVernay’s new documentary about the 13th Amendment. Most of the lineup is peppered with standout titles from other festivals, including Sundance’s “Manchester by the Sea,” Cannes’ “Personal Shopper” and “Toni Erdmann,” and Toronto’s “My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea” and “Jackie,” among others. But a few other films will make their world premieres, and one of NYFF’s signatures is revival screenings (this year’s includes Marlon Brando’s “One-Eyed Jacks” and Barbara Kopple’s “Harlan County, USA”) and conversations with fi ...
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Arthur Miller's 'A View From The Bridge' Is A Cold War Political Allegory As Well As A Family Tragedy
Huffington Post - 5 months
Frederick Weller (center) in "'A View From the Bridge" at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles Last year, the 100th anniversary of playwright Arthur Miller's birth, saw a remarkable revival of five of his plays. "A View From the Bridge" and "The Crucible" opened on Broadway. A staging of "Incident at Vichy" took place Off-Broadway. The New Yiddish Rep staged a Yiddish version of his most famous work, "Death of a Salesman" (with English subtitles). Miller's lesser-known play "Broken Glass" opened at the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut. Ivo van Hove's production of "A View From the Bridge" generated the most interest because of the unusual staging. It got rave reviews in London (winning the Olivier award) and had a similar reception last year in New York (winning the Tony award). That production recently opened at the Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles and I saw it on Thursday night. I've seen the play at least five times and it is my third favorite among Miller's plays, ...
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The Writing Life: The Past Never Leaves You, Or Does It?
Huffington Post - 6 months
I have often said that my worst professional mistake was leaving the clangorous world of daily newspapers for magazines and book writing. Of course, that was back in 1985, a very different time for the media, and for the world. The digital era had not yet dawned, and we "hacks" - as print journalists, particularly foreign correspondents, were known - scrambled around in search of stories. We then scrambled around some more to find a post office with a telex machine to file our dispatches to our home offices. No email in those days, no satellite phones either. Your dispatches depended on the caprice of the telex operation. He was more influenced by the graft you gave than the novelty, timeliness and piquancy of your stories. My search for stories took me to Africa, where the New York Times had posted me in the lovely Kenyan capital of Nairobi. From there I crisscrossed the vast continent. I felt a little bit like Marlow, the narrator of "Heart of Darkness," the celebrated novella ...
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The 5 Best Private Island Resorts
Huffington Post - 7 months
For Condé Nast Traveler, by Paul Rubio.  From the South Pacific to the Florida Keys, discover paradise at the best and most beautiful private island resorts, where natural beauty abounds—and doing nothing is simply everything. 1. Laucala Island, Fiji Pristine blue lagoons; lush coconut groves and volcanic mountains; endless beaches; 25 over-the-top, design-driven Fijian bures (pronounced boo-rays), each with private swimming pools—Laucala Island is the ultimate South Pacific fantasy come to life. What’s more? The island flaunts the highest guest-to-staff ratio of any resort in the world (currently 16 staff to each villa), so expect the best-of-the-best in private island pampering. 2. Fregate Island Private, Seychelles Nature rules on this conservation-focused island in the Seychelles, a “Garden of Eden” that’s home to hundreds of Aldabra tortoises, 101 species of seabirds, and numerous rare and endemic creatures. While you’ll quickly fall in love with Fregat ...
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Murrow: A Dramatic Masterpiece About A More Wonderful than Weird Broadcasting Giant
Huffington Post - 10 months
In order to fully appreciate, both intellectually and emotionally, that and how broadcast news reached its present nadir - and also how glorious it was during its peak -- spend an hour and forty-five minutes with a fine facsimile of Edward R. Murrow, the man who turned reporting the news into "a powerful weapon for truth." If you (sob!) don't know who Murrow was, and (sob! sob!) suffer from the delusion that information about what's happening on the planet should be dispersed as it is presently by (ugh!) Wolf Blitzer or (ugh! ugh!) Lyin' Brian Williams, Murrow, the play, will set your records straight. Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965) was a CBS radio and television news giant (1940-1961), renowned for his honesty and integrity, who first attracted notice during World War II when he broadcast live communiques from London rooftops, accompanied by the cacophony of Nazi bombers decimating the city. Murrow, the man, furnishes the frame for Murrow, the reporter. Both are magnificently bro ...
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Marlon Brando
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2004
    Age 79
    Upon his death in 2004, Brando left an estate valued at $21.6 million.
    More Details Hide Details Brando's estate still earned about $9 million in 2005, the year following his death, according to Forbes. That year Brando was named one of the top-earning deceased celebrities in the world by the magazine.
    On July 1, 2004, Brando died of respiratory failure from pulmonary fibrosis with congestive heart failure at the UCLA Medical Center.
    More Details Hide Details He left behind 14 children (two of his children, Cheyenne and Dylan Brando, had predeceased him), as well as over 30 grandchildren. He was also survived by his sister Jocelyn. The cause of death was initially withheld, with his lawyer citing privacy concerns. He also suffered from failing eyesight caused by diabetes and liver cancer. Shortly before his death and despite needing an oxygen mask to breathe, he recorded his voice to appear in The Godfather: The Game, once again as Don Vito Corleone. However, Brando only recorded one line due to his health and an impersonator was hired to finish his lines. Some lines from his character were directly lifted from the film. Karl Malden—a fellow actor in A Streetcar Named Desire, On The Waterfront, and One-Eyed Jacks (the only film directed by Brando)—talks in a documentary accompanying the DVD of A Streetcar Named Desire about a phone call he received from Brando shortly before Brando's death. A distressed Brando told Malden he kept falling over. Malden wanted to come over, but Brando put him off, telling him there was no point. Three weeks later, Brando was dead. Shortly before his death, he had apparently refused permission for tubes carrying oxygen to be inserted into his lungs, which, he was told, was the only way to prolong his life.
    Production was suspended in July 2004 following Brando's death, at which time Behi stated that he would continue the film as an homage to Brando, with a new title of Citizen Brando.
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    Up to a week before his death, he was working on the script in anticipation of a July/August 2004 start date.
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    In 2004, Brando signed with Tunisian film director Ridha Behi and began pre-production on a project to be titled Brando and Brando.
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    In 2004, Brando recorded voice tracks for the character Mrs. Sour in the unreleased animated film Big Bug Man.
    More Details Hide Details This was his last role and his only role as a female character.
  • 2002
    Age 77
    He also dabbled with some innovation in his last years. He had several patents issued in his name from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, all of which involve a method of tensioning drum heads, in June 2002 – November 2004. (For example, see and its equivalents).
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  • 2001
    Age 76
    In April 2001, Brando was hospitalized with pneumonia.
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    The actor was a longtime close friend of entertainer Michael Jackson and paid regular visits to his Neverland Ranch, resting there for weeks at a time. Brando also participated in the singer's two-day solo career 30th-anniversary celebration concerts in 2001, and starred in his 13-minute-long music video, "You Rock My World," in the same year.
    More Details Hide Details On Jackson's 30th anniversary concert, Brando gave a rambling speech to the audience on humanitarian work which received a poor reaction and was unaired. The actor's son, Miko, was Jackson's bodyguard and assistant for several years, and was a friend of the singer. He stated, "The last time my father left his house to go anywhere, to spend any kind of time... was with Michael Jackson. He loved it... He had a 24-hour chef, 24-hour security, 24-hour help, 24-hour kitchen, 24-hour maid service." "Michael was instrumental helping my father through the last few years of his life. For that I will always be indebted to him. Dad had a hard time breathing in his final days, and he was on oxygen much of the time. He loved the outdoors, so Michael would invite him over to Neverland. Dad could name all the trees there, and the flowers, but being on oxygen it was hard for him to get around and see them all, it's such a big place. So Michael got Dad a golf cart with a portable oxygen tank so he could go around and enjoy Neverland. They'd just drive around—Michael Jackson, Marlon Brando, with an oxygen tank in a golf cart."
  • 1990
    Age 65
    In May 1990, Dag Drollet, the Tahitian lover of Brando's daughter Cheyenne, died of a gunshot wound after a confrontation with Cheyenne's half-brother Christian at the family's hilltop home above Beverly Hills.
    More Details Hide Details Christian, then 31 years old, claimed he was drunk and the shooting was accidental. After heavily publicized pre-trial proceedings, Christian pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and use of a gun. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Before the sentence, Brando delivered an hour of testimony, in which he said he and his former wife had failed Christian. He commented softly to members of the Drollet family: "I'm sorry... If I could trade places with Dag, I would. I'm prepared for the consequences." Afterward, Drollet's father, Jacques, said he thought Brando was acting and his son was "getting away with murder." The tragedy was compounded in 1995, when Cheyenne, suffering from lingering effects of a serious car accident and said to still be depressed over Drollet's death, committed suicide by hanging herself in Tahiti. Christian Brando died of pneumonia at age 49 on January 26, 2008.
    Brando also scored enthusiastic reviews for his caricature of his Vito Corleone role as Carmine Sabatini in 1990's The Freshman.
    More Details Hide Details In his original review, Roger Ebert wrote, "There have been a lot of movies where stars have repeated the triumphs of their parts—but has any star ever done it more triumphantly than Marlon Brando does in The Freshman?" Variety also praised Brando's performance as Sabatini and noted, "Marlon Brando's sublime comedy performance elevates The Freshman from screwball comedy to a quirky niche in film history." Brando also starred alongside his friend Johnny Depp in the box office hit Don Juan DeMarco (1995) and in Depp's controversial The Brave (1997), which was never released in the United States. Later performances, such as his appearance in Christopher Columbus: The Discovery (1992) (for which he won a Raspberry as "Worst Supporting Actor"), The Island of Dr. Moreau (in which he was nominated for another "Worst Actor" Raspberry) (1996), and his barely recognizable appearance in Free Money (1998), resulted in some of the worst reviews of his career. However, his last film, The Score (2001), was received generally positively. In the film, in which he portrays a fence, he starred with Robert De Niro, who had portrayed Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II. Brando conceived the idea of a novel called Fan-Tan with director Donald Cammell in 1979, which was not released until 2005.
  • 1989
    Age 64
    However he returned in 1989 in A Dry White Season, based on André Brink's 1979 anti-apartheid novel.
    More Details Hide Details Brando agreed to do the film for free, but fell out with director Euzhan Palcy over how the film was edited; he even made a rare television appearance in an interview with Connie Chung to voice his disapproval. In his memoir, he maintained that Palcy "had cut the picture so poorly, I thought, that the inherent drama of this conflict was vague at best." Brando received praise for his performance, earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and winning the Best Actor Award at the Tokyo Film Festival.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1980
    Age 55
    After appearing as oil tycoon Adam Steiffel in 1980's The Formula, which was poorly received critically, Brando announced his retirement from acting.
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  • 1978
    Age 53
    Brando portrayed Superman's father Jor-El in the 1978 film Superman.
    More Details Hide Details He agreed to the role only on assurance that he would be paid a large sum for what amounted to a small part, that he would not have to read the script beforehand, and that his lines would be displayed somewhere off-camera. It was revealed in a documentary contained in the 2001 DVD release of Superman that he was paid $3.7 million for two weeks of work. Brando also filmed scenes for the movie's sequel, Superman II, but after producers refused to pay him the same percentage he received for the first movie, he denied them permission to use the footage. "I asked for my usual percentage," he recollected in his memoir, "but they refused, and so did I." However, after Brando's death, the footage was reincorporated into the 2006 re-cut of the film, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut and in the 2006 "loose sequel" Superman Returns, in which both used and unused archive footage of him as Jor-El from the first two Superman films was remastered for a scene in the Fortress of Solitude, and Brando's voice-overs were used throughout the film. As the decade wore on, Brando was criticized more and more for only accepting what amounted to cameos in exchange for huge paydays.
    In 1978, he narrated the English version of Raoni, a French-Belgian documentary film directed by Jean-Pierre Dutilleux and Luiz Carlos Saldanha that focused on the life of Raoni Metuktire and issues surrounding the survival of the indigenous Indian tribes of north central Brazil.
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  • 1977
    Age 52
    In 1977, Brando made a rare television appearance in the miniseries Roots: The Next Generations, portraying George Lincoln Rockwell; he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for his performance.
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  • 1976
    Age 51
    In 1976, Brando appeared in The Missouri Breaks with his friend Jack Nicholson.
    More Details Hide Details The movie also reunited the actor with director Arthur Penn. Following The Godfather and Tango, Brando's performance was disappointing for some reviewers, who accused him of giving an erratic and inconsistent performance. As biographer Stefan Kanfer describes, Penn had difficulty controlling Brando, who seemed intent on going over the top with his border-ruffian-turned-contract-killer Robert E. Lee Clayton: "Marlon made him a cross-dressing psychopath. Absent for the first hour of the movie, Clayton enters on horseback, dangling upside down, caparisoned in white buckskin, Littlefeather-style. He speaks in an Irish accent for no apparent reason. Over the next hour, also for no apparent reason, Clayton assumes the intonation of a British upper-class twit and an elderly frontier woman, complete with a granny dress and matching bonnet. Penn, who believed in letting actors do their thing, indulged Marlon all the way." Critics were unkind, with The Observer calling Brando's performance "one of the most extravagant displays of grandedamerie since Sarah Bernhardt", while The Sun complained, "Marlon Brando at fifty-two has the sloppy belly of a sixty-two-year-old, the white hair of a seventy-two-year-old, and the lack of discipline of a precocious twelve-year-old." However, Kanfer noted: "Even though his late work was met with disapproval, a re-examination shows that often, in the middle of the most pedestrian scene, there would be a sudden, luminous occurrence, a flash of the old Marlon that showed how capable he remained."
  • FORTIES
  • 1973
    Age 48
    At the 1973 Academy Awards ceremony, Brando refused to accept the Oscar for his performance in The Godfather.
    More Details Hide Details Sacheen Littlefeather represented him at the ceremony. She appeared in full Apache attire and stated that owing to the "poor treatment of Native Americans in the film industry", Brando would not accept the award. This occurred while the standoff at Wounded Knee was ongoing. The event grabbed the attention of the US and the world media. This was considered a major event and victory for the movement by its supporters and participants. Outside of his film work, Brando appeared before the California Assembly in support of a fair housing law and personally joined picket lines in demonstrations protesting discrimination in housing developments. He was also an activist against apartheid. In 1964, he favored a boycott of his films in South Africa to prevent them from being shown to a segregated audience. He took part at a 1975 protest rally against American investments in South Africa and for the release of Nelson Mandela. In 1989, Brando also starred in the film A Dry White Season, based upon André Brink's novel of the same name.
    In 1973, Brando was devastated by the death of his childhood and best friend Wally Cox.
    More Details Hide Details Brando slept in Cox's pajamas and wrenched his ashes from his widow. She was going to sue for their return, but finally said "I think Marlon needs the ashes more than I do."
    Although Brando won the 1973 New York Film Critics Circle Awards, the actor did not appear at the ceremony or send a representative to pick up the award if he won.
    More Details Hide Details Critic Pauline Kael, in her famous New Yorker review, wrote "The movie breakthrough has finally come. Bertolucci and Brando have altered the face of an art form." Brando confessed in his autobiography, "To this day I can't say what Last Tango in Paris was about," and added the film "required me to do a lot of emotional arm wrestling with myself, and when it was finished, I decided that I wasn't ever again going to destroy myself emotionally to make a movie. I felt I had violated my innermost self and I didn't want to suffer like that anymore... You can't fake it."
  • 1972
    Age 47
    Brando and Teriipaia divorced in July 1972.
    More Details Hide Details Brando had a long-term relationship with his housekeeper Maria Cristina Ruiz, by whom he had three children: Ninna Priscilla Brando (born May 13, 1989), Myles Jonathan Brando (born January 16, 1992), and Timothy Gahan Brando (born January 6, 1994). He had five more children by unidentified women: Stephen Blackehart (born 1967), Michael Gregor Gilman (born 1967), who was adopted by Brando's longtime friend Sam Gilman, and Dylan Brando (1968–1988), Warren Angelo Brando (born 1985), Angelique Brando. Brando also adopted Petra Brando-Corval (born 1972), the daughter of his assistant Caroline Barrett and novelist James Clavell. Brando's close friendship with Wally Cox was the subject of rumors. Brando told a journalist: "If Wally had been a woman, I would have married him and we would have lived happily ever after". Two of Cox's wives, however, dismissed the suggestion that the love was more than platonic.
    The actor followed The Godfather with Bernardo Bertolucci's 1972 film Last Tango in Paris opposite Maria Schneider, but Brando's highly noted performance threatened to be overshadowed by an uproar over the sexual content of the film.
    More Details Hide Details Brando portrays a recent American widower named Paul, who begins an anonymous sexual relationship with a young, betrothed Parisian woman named Jeanne. As with previous films, Brando refused to memorize his lines for many scenes; instead, he wrote his lines on cue cards and posted them around the set for easy reference, leaving Bertolucci with the problem of keeping them out of the picture frame. The film features several intense, graphic scenes involving Brando, including Paul anally raping Jeanne using butter as a lubricant and Paul's angry, emotionally charged final confrontation with the corpse of his dead wife. The controversial movie was a hit, however, and Brando made the list of Top Ten Box Office Stars for the last time. The voting membership of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences again nominated Brando for Best Actor, his seventh nomination.
    With that and his Oscar-nominated performance in Last Tango in Paris, Brando re-established himself in the ranks of top box-office stars, placing sixth and tenth in the Money Making Stars poll in 1972 and 1973, respectively.
    More Details Hide Details Brando took a four-year hiatus before appearing in The Missouri Breaks (1976). After this, he was content with being a highly paid character actor in cameo roles, such as in Superman (1978) and The Formula (1980), before taking a nine-year break from motion pictures. He finished out the 1970s with his controversial performance as Colonel Kurtz in another Coppola film, Apocalypse Now, a box-office hit for which he was highly paid and which helped finance his career layoff during the 1980s.
  • 1969
    Age 44
    Brando's performance as Vito Corleone, the "Don," in The Godfather (1972), Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Mario Puzo's 1969 best-selling novel of the same name, was a career turning point, putting him back in the Top Ten and winning him his second Best Actor Oscar.
    More Details Hide Details Paramount production chief Robert Evans, who had given Puzo an advance to write The Godfather so that Paramount would own the movie rights, hired Coppola after many major directors had turned the movie down because he wanted an Italian-American director who could provide the movie with cultural authenticity. Coppola also came cheap. Evans was conscious of the fact that Paramount's last Mafia movie, The Brotherhood (1968) had been a box office bomb, and he believed it was partly due to the fact that the director, Martin Ritt, and the star, Kirk Douglas, were Jews and the film lacked an authentic Italian flavor. The studio originally intended the movie to be a low-budget production set in contemporary times without any major actors, but the phenomenal success of the novel gave Evans the clout to turn The Godfather into a prestige picture. Coppola had developed a list of actors for all the roles, and his list of potential Dons included the Oscar-winning Italian-American Ernest Borgnine, the Italian-American Frank de Kova (best known for playing Chief Wild Eagle on the TV sit-com F-Troop), John Marley (a Best Supporting Oscar-nominee for Paramount's 1970 hit movie Love Story who was cast as the movie producer Woltz in the picture), the Italian-American Richard Conte (who was cast as Don Corleone's deadly rival Don Barzini), and Italian movie producer Carlo Ponti. Coppola admitted in a 1975 interview, "We finally figured we had to lure the best actor in the world.
  • 1968
    Age 43
    In the aftermath of the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Brando made one of the strongest commitments to furthering King's work.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly after King's death, he announced that he was bowing out of the lead role of a major film (The Arrangement) (1969) which was about to begin production in order to devote himself to the civil rights movement. "I felt I'd better go find out where it is; what it is to be black in this country; what this rage is all about," Brando said on the late-night ABC-TV talk show Joey Bishop Show. In A&E's Biography episode on Brando actor and co-star Martin Sheen states, "I'll never forget the night that Reverend King was shot and I turned on the news and Marlon was walking through Harlem with Mayor Lindsay. And there were snipers and there was a lot of unrest and he kept walking and talking through those neighborhoods with Mayor Lindsay. It was one of the most incredible acts of courage I ever saw, and it meant a lot and did a lot."
  • 1966
    Age 41
    In the March 1966 issue of The Atlantic, Pauline Kael wrote that in his rebellious days, Marlon "was antisocial because he knew society was crap; he was a hero to youth because he was strong enough not to take the crap" but now Brando and others like him had become "buffoons, shamelessly, pathetically mocking their public reputations."
    More Details Hide Details In an earlier review of The Appaloosa in 1966, Kael wrote that the actor was "trapped in another dog of a movie... Not for the first time, Mr. Brando gives us a heavy-lidded, adenoidally openmouthed caricature of the inarticulate, stalwart loner." Although he feigned indifference, Brando was hurt by the critical mauling, admitting in the 2015 film Listen to Me Marlon, "They can hit you every day and you have no way of fighting back. I was very convincing in my pose of indifference, but I was very sensitive and it hurt a lot." While Brando had lost much of his critical and commercial appeal in the 1960s, he still gave some memorable performances. Brando portrayed a repressed gay army officer in Reflections in a Golden Eye, directed by John Huston and costarring Elizabeth Taylor. The role turned out as one of his greatest in years, with Stanley Crouch marveling, "Brando's main achievement was to portray the taciturn but stoic gloom of those pulverized by circumstances." The film overall received mixed reviews. Another notable film was The Chase (1966), which paired the actor with Arthur Penn, Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda and Robert Redford. The film deals with themes of racism, sexual revolution, small-town corruption, and vigilantism but is probably best remembered for a scene in which the sheriff played by Brando is brutally beaten by three of the vigilantes. The film was received mostly positively.
  • 1965
    Age 40
    Brando had also appeared in the spy thriller Morituri in 1965; that, too, failed to attract an audience.
    More Details Hide Details Brando acknowledged his professional decline, writing later, "Some of the films I made during the sixties were successful; some weren't. Some, like The Night of the Following Day, I made only for the money; others, like Candy, I did because a friend asked me to and I didn't want to turn him down... In some ways I think of my middle age as the Fuck You Years." Candy was especially appalling for many; a 1968 sex farce film directed by Christian Marquand and based on the 1958 novel by Terry Southern, the movie satirizes pornographic stories through the adventures of its naive heroine, Candy, played by Ewa Aulin. It is generally regarded as the nadir of Brando's career. The Washington Post observed: "Brando's self-indulgence over a dozen years is costing him and his public his talents."
  • THIRTIES
  • 1962
    Age 37
    He directed and starred in the cult western film One-Eyed Jacks, a critical and commercial flop, after which he delivered a series of box-office failures, beginning with the 1962 film adaptation of the novel Mutiny on the Bounty.
    More Details Hide Details After 10 years, during which he did not appear in a successful film, he won his second Academy Award for playing Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, a role critics consider among his greatest. The Godfather was then one of the most commercially successful films of all time.
  • 1961
    Age 36
    Previously only signing short term deals with movie studios, in 1961 Brando uncharacteristically signed a five picture deal with Universal Studios that would haunt him for the rest of the decade.
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    In 1961, Brando made his directorial debut in the western One-Eyed Jacks.
    More Details Hide Details The picture was originally directed by Stanley Kubrick, but he was fired early in the production by Paramount & co-producer Brando because of his escessive slowness, vague ideas, indecision, endless re-takes, & obsessive-compulsive over-perfectionism. Paramount then made Brando the director. Brando portrays the lead character Rio, and Karl Malden plays his partner "Dad" Longworth. The supporting cast features Katy Jurado, Ben Johnson, and Slim Pickens. Brando's penchant for multiple retakes and character exploration as an actor carried over into his directing, however, and the film soon went over budget; Paramount expected the film to take three months to complete but shooting stretched to six and the cost doubled to more than six million dollars. Brando's inexperience as an editor also delayed postproduction and Paramount eventually took control of the film. Brando later wrote, "Paramount said it didn't like my version of the story; I'd had everyone lie except Karl Malden. The studio cut the movie to pieces and made him a liar, too. By then, I was bored with the whole project and walked away from it." Visually stunning, One-Eyed Jacks was poorly reviewed by critics. While the film did solid business, it ran so over budget that it lost money.
  • 1960
    Age 35
    He attended some fundraisers for John F. Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election.
    More Details Hide Details In August 1963, he participated in the March on Washington along with fellow celebrities Harry Belafonte, James Garner, Charlton Heston, Burt Lancaster and Sidney Poitier. Along with Paul Newman, Brando also participated in the freedom rides.
    In 1960, Brando married Movita Castaneda, a Mexican-American actress seven years his senior; they were divorced in 1962.
    More Details Hide Details Castaneda had appeared in the first Mutiny on the Bounty film in 1935, some 27 years before the 1962 remake with Brando as Fletcher Christian. They had two children together: Miko Castaneda Brando (born 1961) and Rebecca Brando (born 1966). Tahitian actress Tarita Teriipaia, who played Brando's love interest in Mutiny on the Bounty, became his third wife on August 10, 1962. She was 20 years old, 18 years younger than Brando, who was reportedly delighted by her naïveté. Because Teriipaia was a native French speaker, Brando became fluent in the language and gave numerous interviews in French. Teriipaia became the mother of two of his children: Simon Teihotu Brando (born 1963) and Tarita Cheyenne Brando (born 1970). Brando also adopted Teriipaia's daughter, Maimiti Brando (born 1977) and niece, Raiatua Brando (born 1982).
  • 1958
    Age 33
    Brando and Kashfi had a son, Christian Brando, on May 11, 1958; they divorced in 1959.
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    Based on the 1958 novel of the same name that Pennebaker had optioned, the movie, which featured Brando's sister Jocelyn, was rated fairly positively but died at the box office.
    More Details Hide Details Brando was nominated for a Golden Globe for his performance. All of Brando's other Universal films during this period, including Bedtime Story (1964), The Appaloosa (1966), A Countess from Hong Kong (1967) and The Night of the Following Day (1969), were also critical and commercial flops. Countess in particular was a disappointment for Brando, who had looked forward to working with one of his heroes, director Charlie Chaplin. The experience turned out to be an unhappy one; Brando had no chemistry with his leading lady Sophia Loren and was horrified at Chaplin's didactic style of direction and his authoritarian approach.
    In 1958, Brando appeared in The Young Lions, dyeing his hair blonde and assuming a German accent for the role, which he later admitted was not convincing.
    More Details Hide Details It based on the novel by Irwin Shaw and Brando's portrayal of the character Christian Diestl was controversial for its time. He later wrote, "The original script closely followed the book, in which Shaw painted all Germans as evil caricatures, especially Christian, whom he portrayed as a symbol of everything that was bad about Nazism; he was mean, nasty, vicious, a cliché of evil... I thought the story should demonstrate that there are no inherently 'bad' people in the world, but they can easily be misled." Shaw and Brando even appeared together for a televised interview with CBS correspondent David Schoenbrun and, during a bombastic exchange, Shaw charged that, like most actors, Brando was incapable of playing flat-out villainy; Brando responded by stating "Nobody creates a character but an actor. I play the role; now he exists. He is my creation." The Young Lions also features Brando's only appearance in a film with friend and rival Montgomery Clift (although they shared no scenes together). Brando closed out the decade by appearing in The Fugitive Kind (1960) opposite Anna Magnani. The film was based on another play by Tennessee Williams but was hardly the success A Streetcar Named Desire had been, with the Los Angeles Times labeling Williams's personae "psychologically sick or just plain ugly" and The New Yorker calling it a "cornpone melodrama".
  • 1957
    Age 32
    Brando married actress Anna Kashfi in 1957.
    More Details Hide Details Kashfi was born in Calcutta and moved to Wales from India in 1947. She is said to have been the daughter of a Welsh steel worker of Irish descent, William O'Callaghan, who had been superintendent on the Indian State railways. However, in her book, Brando for Breakfast, she claimed that she really is half Indian and that the press incorrectly thought that her stepfather, O'Callaghan, was her biological father. She said that her biological father was Indian and that she was the result of an "unregistered alliance" between her parents.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1954
    Age 29
    He portrayed Napoleon in the 1954 film Désirée.
    More Details Hide Details According to co-star Jean Simmons, Brando's contract forced him to star in the movie. He put little effort into the role, claiming he didn't like the script, and later dismissed the entire movie as "superficial and dismal". Brando was especially contemptuous of director Henry Koster. Brando and Simmons were paired together again in the film adaptation of the musical Guys and Dolls (1955). Guys and Dolls would be Brando's first and last musical role. Time found the picture "false to the original in its feeling", remarking that Brando "sings in a faraway tenor that sometimes tends to be flat." Appearing in Edward Murrow's Person to Person interview in early 1955, he admitted to having problems with his singing voice, which he called "pretty terrible." In the 1965 documentary "Meet Marlon Brando" he revealed that the final product heard in the movie was a result of countless singing takes being cut into one and later joked, "I couldn't hit a note with a baseball bat; some notes I missed by extraordinary margins... They sewed my words together on one song so tightly that when I mouthed it in front of the camera, I nearly asphyxiated myself". Relations between Brando and Sinatra were also frosty, with Stefan Kanfer observing, "The two men were diametrical opposites: Marlon required multiple takes; Frank detested repeating himself." Upon their first meeting Sinatra reportedly scoffed, "Don't give me any of that Actors Studio shit."
    In his July 29, 1954, review, The New York Times critic A. H. Weiler praised the film, calling it "an uncommonly powerful, exciting, and imaginative use of the screen by gifted professionals."
    More Details Hide Details Film critic Roger Ebert lauded the film, stating that Brando and Kazan changed acting in American films forever and added it to his "Great Movies" list. In his autobiography, Brando was typically dismissive of his performance: "On the day Gadg showed me the complete picture, I was so depressed by my performance I got up and left the screening room... I thought I was a huge failure." After Brando won the Academy Award for Best Actor, the statue was stolen. Much later, it turned up at a London auction house, which contacted the actor and informed him of its whereabouts. Brando's first six films—The Men, A Streetcar Named Desire, Viva Zapata!, Julius Caesar, The Wild One and On the Waterfront—laid a standard of excellence that would sustain him throughout his career—a standard that Brando himself would have difficulty reattaining. As the decade continued, Brando remained a top box office draw but critics felt his performances were half-hearted, lacking the intensity and commitment found in his earlier work, especially in his work with Kazan.
    In 1954, Brando starred in On the Waterfront, a crime drama film about union violence and corruption among longshoremen.
    More Details Hide Details The film was directed by Elia Kazan and written by Budd Schulberg; it also stars Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger and, in her film debut, Eva Marie Saint. When initially offered the role, Brando—still stung by Kazan's testimony to HUAC—demurred and the part of Terry Malloy nearly went to Frank Sinatra. According to biographer Stefan Kanfer, the director believed that Sinatra, who grew up in Hoboken, would work as Malloy, but eventually producer Sam Spiegel wooed Brando to the part, signing him for $100,000. "Kazan made no protest because, he subsequently confessed, 'I always preferred Brando to anybody.'" Brando won the Oscar for his role as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront. His performance, spurred on by his rapport with Eva Marie Saint and Kazan's direction, was praised as a tour de force. For the famous I coulda been a contender scene, he convinced Kazan that the scripted scene was unrealistic. Schulberg's script had Brando acting the entire scene with his character being held at gunpoint by his brother Charlie, played by Rod Steiger. Brando insisted on gently pushing away the gun, saying that Terry would never believe that his brother would pull the trigger and doubting that he could continue his speech while fearing a gun on him. Kazan let Brando improvise and later expressed deep admiration for Brando's instinctive understanding, saying:
  • 1953
    Age 28
    In 1953, Brando also starred in The Wild One, riding his own Triumph Thunderbird 6T motorcycle.
    More Details Hide Details Triumph's importers were ambivalent at the exposure, as the subject matter was rowdy motorcycle gangs taking over a small town. The film was criticized for its perceived gratuitous violence at the time, with Time stating, "The effect of the movie is not to throw light on the public problem, but to shoot adrenaline through the moviegoer's veins." Brando allegedly did not see eye to eye with the Hungarian director László Benedek and did not get on with costar Lee Marvin. To Brando's expressed puzzlement, the movie inspired teen rebellion and made him a role model to the nascent rock-and-roll generation and future stars such as James Dean and Elvis Presley. After the movie's release, the sales of leather jackets and blue jeans skyrocketed. Reflecting on the movie in his autobiography, Brando concluded that it had not aged very well but said: Later that same year, Brando starred in Lee Falk's production of George Bernard Shaw's Arms and the Man in Boston. Falk was proud to tell people that Brando turned down an offer of $10,000 per week on Broadway, in favor of working in his production in Boston, for less than $500 per week. It was the last time Brando acted in a stage play.
  • 1950
    Age 25
    Brando was named the fourth greatest male star whose screen debut occurred before or during 1950 by the American Film Institute, and part of TIME magazine's Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century.
    More Details Hide Details He was also named one of the top 10 "Icons of the Century" by Variety magazine. Notes Citations Bibliography
    He is listed by the American Film Institute as the fourth greatest male star whose screen debut occurred before or during 1950 (it occurred in 1950).
    More Details Hide Details He earned respect among critics for his memorable performances and charismatic screen presence. His greatest contribution was helping to popularize Method acting. He is regarded as one of the greatest cinema actors of the 20th century. Encyclopedia Britannica describes him as "the most celebrated of the method actors, and his slurred, mumbling delivery marked his rejection of classical dramatic training. His true and passionate performances proved him one of the greatest actors of his generation". It also notes the apparent paradox of his talent: "He is regarded as the most influential actor of his generation, yet his open disdain for the acting profession... often manifested itself in the form of questionable choices and uninspired performances. Nevertheless, he remains a riveting screen presence with a vast emotional range and an endless array of compulsively watchable idiosyncrasies." His rise to national attention in the 1950s had a profound effect on American culture. According to film critic Pauline Kael, "Brando represented a reaction against the post-war mania for security. As a protagonist, the Brando of the early fifties had no code, only his instincts. He was a development from the gangster leader and the outlaw. He was antisocial because he knew society was crap; he was a hero to youth because he was strong enough not to take the crap... Brando represented a contemporary version of the free American... Brando is still the most exciting American actor on the screen."
    Brando was ranked by the American Film Institute as the fourth-greatest movie star among male movie stars whose screen debuts occurred in or before 1950.
    More Details Hide Details He was one of only three professional actors, along with Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe, named in 1999 by Time magazine as one of its 100 Most Important People of the Century.
  • 1947
    Age 22
    In 1947, Brando performed a screen test for an early Warner Brothers script for the novel Rebel Without a Cause (1944), which bore no relation to the film eventually produced in 1955.
    More Details Hide Details The screen test is included as an extra in the 2006 DVD release of A Streetcar Named Desire. Brando's first screen role was the bitter paraplegic veteran in The Men (1950). He spent a month in bed at the Birmingham Army Hospital in Van Nuys to prepare for the role. The New York Times reviewer Bosley Crowther wrote that Brando as Ken "is so vividly real, dynamic and sensitive that his illusion is complete" and noted, "Out of stiff and frozen silences he can lash into a passionate rage with the tearful and flailing frenzy of a taut cable suddenly cut." By Brando's own account, it may have been because of this film that his draft status was changed from 4-F to 1-A. He had had surgery on his trick knee, and it was no longer physically debilitating enough to incur exclusion from the draft. When Brando reported to the induction center, he answered a questionnaire by saying his race was "human", his color was "Seasonal–oyster white to beige", and he told an Army doctor that he was psychoneurotic. When the draft board referred him to a psychiatrist, Brando explained that he had been expelled from military school and had severe problems with authority. Coincidentally, the psychiatrist knew a doctor friend of Brando. Brando avoided military service during the Korean War.
    In a letter dated August 29, 1947, Williams confided to his agent Audrey Wood: "It had not occurred to me before what an excellent value would come through casting a very young actor in this part.
    More Details Hide Details It humanizes the character of Stanley in that it becomes the brutality and callousness of youth rather than a vicious old man... A new value came out of Brando's reading which was by far the best reading I have ever heard." Brando based his portrayal of Kowalski on the boxer Rocky Graziano, whom he had studied at a local gymnasium. Graziano did not know who Brando was, but attended the production with tickets provided by the young man. He said, "The curtain went up and on the stage is that son of a bitch from the gym, and he's playing me."
    This proved to be one of the greatest blessings of his career, as it freed him up to play the role of Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams's 1947 play A Streetcar Named Desire, directed by Elia Kazan.
    More Details Hide Details Bankhead had recommended him to Williams for the role of Stanley, thinking he was perfect for the part. Pierpont writes that John Garfield was first choice for the role, but "made impossible demands". It was Kazan's decision to fall back on the far less experienced (and technically too young for the role) Brando.
  • 1946
    Age 21
    Jack Wilson was largely tolerant of Brando's behavior, but he reached his limit when Brando mumbled through a dress rehearsal shortly before the November 28, 1946, opening. "I don't care what your grandmother did," Wilson exclaimed, "and that Method stuff, I want to know what you're going to do!" Brando in turn raised his voice, and acted with great power and passion. "It was marvelous," a cast member recalled. "Everybody hugged him and kissed him.
    More Details Hide Details He came ambling offstage and said to me, 'They don't think you can act unless you can yell.'" A review of Brando's performance in the opening assessed that Brando was "still building his character, but at present fails to impress". One Boston critic remarked of Brando's prolonged death scene, "Brando looked like a car in midtown Manhattan searching for a parking space." He received better reviews at subsequent tour stops, but what his colleagues recalled was only occasional indications of the talent he would later demonstrate. "There were a few times when he was really magnificent," Tallulah admitted to an interviewer in 1962. "He was a great young actor when he wanted to be, but most of the time I couldn't even hear him on the stage." Brando displayed his apathy for the production by demonstrating some shocking onstage manners. He "tried everything in the world to ruin it for her", Tallulah's stage-manager claimed. "He nearly drove her crazy: scratching his crotch, picking his nose, doing anything." After several weeks on the road, they reached Boston, by which time Tallulah was ready to dismiss him.
  • 1945
    Age 20
    In 1945, Brando's agent recommended he take a co-starring role in The Eagle Has Two Heads with Tallulah Bankhead, produced by Jack Wilson.
    More Details Hide Details Tallulah had turned down the role of Blanche Dubois in a A Streetcar Named Desire, which Williams had written for her, to tour the play for the 1946-1947 season. Bankhead recognized Brando's potential, despite her disdain (which most Broadway veterans shared) for method acting, and agreed to hire him even though he auditioned poorly. The two clashed greatly during the pre-Broadway tour, with Bankhead reminding Brando of his mother, being her age and also having a drinking problem.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1944
    Age 19
    Then, in 1944, he made it to Broadway in the bittersweet drama I Remember Mama, playing the son of Mady Christians.
    More Details Hide Details The Lunts wanted Brando to play the role of Alfred Lunt's son in O Mistress Mine, and Lunt even coached him for his audition, but Brando's reading during the audition was so desultory that they couldn't hire him. New York Drama Critics voted him "Most Promising Young Actor" for his role as an anguished veteran in Truckline Café, although the play was a commercial failure. In 1946, he appeared on Broadway as the young hero in the political drama A Flag is Born, refusing to accept wages above the Actors' Equity rate. In that same year, Brando played the role of Marchbanks alongside Katharine Cornell in her production's revival of Candida, one of her signature roles. Cornell also cast him as the Messenger in her production of Jean Anouilh's Antigone that same year. He was also offered the opportunity to portray one of the principal characters in the Broadway premiere of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh, but turned the part down after falling asleep while trying to read the massive script and pronouncing the play "ineptly written and poorly constructed".
  • 1939
    Age 14
    In 1939 and 1941, he worked as an usher at the town's only movie theatre, The Liberty.
    More Details Hide Details Brando, whose childhood nickname was "Bud", was a mimic from his youth. He developed an ability to absorb the mannerisms of kids he played with and display them dramatically while staying in character. He was introduced to neighborhood boy Wally Cox and the two were unlikely closest friends until Cox' death in 1973. the 2007 TCM biopic, Brando: The Documentary, childhood friend George Englund recalls Brando's earliest acting as imitating the cows and horses on the family farm as a way to distract his mother from drinking. His sister Jocelyn was the first to pursue an acting career, going to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. She appeared on Broadway, then films and television. Brando's sister Frances left college in California to study art in New York. Brando had been held back a year in school and was later expelled from Libertyville High School for riding his motorcycle through the corridors.
  • 1937
    Age 12
    In 1937, Brando's parents reconciled and moved together to Libertyville, Illinois, a small town north of Chicago.
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  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1924
    Born
    Brando was born on April 3, 1924, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Marlon Brando, Sr., a pesticide and chemical feed manufacturer, and Dorothy Julia (née Pennebaker).
    More Details Hide Details Brando had two older sisters, Jocelyn Brando (1919–2005) and Frances (1922–1994). His ancestry included German, Dutch, English, and Irish. His patrilineal immigrant ancestor, Johann Wilhelm Brandau, arrived in New York in the early 1700s from the Palatinate of Germany. Brando was raised a Christian Scientist. His mother, known as Dodie, was unconventional for her time; an actress herself, she smoked, wore trousers and drove cars—all unusual for women at the time—and was even a theatre administrator, helping Henry Fonda begin his acting career. However, she was an alcoholic and often had to be brought home from Chicago bars by her husband. In his autobiography, Songs My Mother Taught Me, Brando expressed sadness when writing about his mother: "The anguish that her drinking produced was that she preferred getting drunk to caring for us." Dodie and Brando's father eventually joined Alcoholics Anonymous. Brando harbored far more enmity for his father, stating, "I was his namesake, but nothing I did ever pleased or even interested him. He enjoyed telling me I couldn't do anything right. He had a habit of telling me I would never amount to anything." Brando's parents moved to Evanston, Illinois, when his father's work took him to Chicago, but separated when Brando was 11 years old. His mother took the three children to Santa Ana, California, where they lived with her mother.
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