Marlon Brando – legend of American cinema
Marlon Brando was an American film and television actor, film director and political activist. He is one of the greatest actors in the history of cinema. The result of a half-century career of the actor became an arsenal of diametrically opposite roles: revolutionary Emiliano Zapata (Viva Zapata!, 1952), the Roman commander Mark Antony (Julius Caesar, 1953), biker Johnny Strabler (Savage, 1953), port worker Terry Malloy (On the Waterfront, 1954), Vito Corleone (The Godfather, 1972), he – Paul (Last Tango in Paris, 1972), scientist Jor-El (Superman, 1978) and Colonel Walter Kurtz (Apocalypse Now, 1979). In 1961, Brando stood behind the camera and filmed western One-Eyed Jacks. He was a winner of two Oscar (1955, 1973), two Golden Globe (1955, 1973) and three British Academy Awards (1953, 1954, 1955). He had starred in 40 films, many of which were in the golden fund of world cinema.
Marlon Brando was born on April 3, 1924 in Omaha, Nebraska. His father, Marlon Brando, Sr., was the owner of his own business. He was engaged in manufacturing of feed for farm and domestic animals. His mother Dorothy played in the local theater and was familiar with actor Henry Fonda. Marlon was the youngest child in the family. He had elder sisters, Jocelyn and Frances.
When Marlon was 6 years old, the family moved to a suburb of Chicago. At the age of 11 he met Wally Cox, who later became famous as an actor.
After a few years, his parents decided to live separately, and Dorothy took her children to Santa Ana, California. At school Brando Jr. was engaged in sport, played in school performances and was a drummer in a local band.
He appeared in his first motion picture acting stint in Fred Zinneman’s war film The Men (1950).
The actor became successful after his role in the film A Streetcar Named Desire, adaptation of the classic play by Tennessee Williams, in which his partner was famous actress Vivien Leigh. The film became one of the best movies in the world.
In 1972, Brando refused his Academy Award for Best Actor as a protest of Hollywood’s treatment of Native Americans. He did not appear at the awards show to personally deny the trophy. Instead, a Native American Apache named Sacheen Littlefeather read his protest.
The following year the actor starred in Last Tango in Paris. Since then Brando received huge salaries for playing small parts in such movies as Superman (1978) and Apocalypse Now (1979).
In 1989 he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for A Dry White Season and also appeared in The Freshman with Matthew Broderick.
In 1995, he costarred in Don Juan DeMarco with Johnny Depp.
In early 1996 Brando costarred in the film The Island of Dr. Moreau.
One of the last appearances of Brando on the screen was in the video for Michael Jackson’s song You Rock My World (2001).
He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Marlon Brando died on July 1, 2004 in Los Angeles. In recent years, he suffered from obesity. Shortly before his death, the actor took the fourth place in the list of 100 greatest movie stars for 100 years.
Speaking about his contribution to world cinema, one of his biographers, Stefan Kanfer, once said: “There was cinema before Brando and after Brando, as well as painting before Picasso and after Picasso, literature before Hemingway and after Hemingway and pop music before Sinatra and after Sinatra …”
Brando was an avid political activist, supported, mainly, the American Indian Movement and African-American Civil Rights Movement.
He had a few friends and Jack Nicholson was his best friend.
The actor claimed that he and Marilyn Monroe had a brief affair, and then they almost did not communicate.
The actor had three wives, lots of romantic relationships with various women. Brando had eight children (to tell the truth more than 14).
In 1957 Brando married actress Anna Kashfi. In 1959, after the birth of their son, Christian Brando, the couple divorced.
In 1960, Brando married actress Movita Castaneda, who was six years senior than Brando. They divorced in 1962.
On August 10, 1962 the actor married 20-year-old Tarita Teriipaia, who was the mother of his two children. This marriage was the longest of all. They divorced in 1972.
There were rumors that Brando had an affair with another legend of American cinema, Cary Grant.
Marlon Brando is one of the most famous and influential actors of the second half of the XX century.
– He was expelled from two schools.
– He worked as a truck driver, an elevator operator, a waiter, a cook in the cafeteria, an animator and a night watchman at the factory.
– On the set of the film Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) Brando saw atoll Tetiaroa and six years later he bought it. Today a luxury resort is being built on the atoll.
– In 1994 two books were released: Brando: The Biography, by Peter Manso, and Brando: Songs My Mother Taught Me, by Marlon Brando with Robert Lindsey.
– At New York’s Actor’s Studio he studied with Elia Kazan and Stella Adler, who taught him “The Stanislavsky Method”.