Marlon Brando   

Birth Name: Marlon Brando Jr.
Born: April 3, 1924

No other actor alive today can claim to be as influential as Marlon Brando. When he brought The Method to Hollywood in 1951 with Elia Kazan's A Streetcar Named Desire, film acting changed forever. Brando represented the new kind of actor, bred from the Actor's Studio in New York, where students were encouraged to immerse themselves in a character in order to have the most accurate, intense portrayal possible on stage. Brando showed that this was even more effective on film, where the tinest nuance is visible to the audience. His partnership with Kazan resulted in his first Academy Award for On the Waterfront, after nominations for both Streetcar and Viva Zapata. Despite this perfect record with Kazan, Brando moved on to other directors, including himself. Brando directed his only film, One-Eyed Jacks, in 1961. Despite his immense talent, quality work became less available for Brando in the 1960s due to a (well-deserved) reputation for being difficult. Yet, his most successful year came in 1972, when he was in both Last Tango in Paris and The Godfather, the latter of which earned him a second Academy Award. However, he did not accept the award personally as a protest to the treatment of Native Americans throughout the history of Hollywood. This began the period in Brando's career where he became more concerned with politics than with acting. Only a few notable performances have followed (like Apocalypse Now), and most of the few projects he has chosen turned out for the worse. Some people regard him today as a living joke, and Brando has done little to dispel this notion. But nobody can deny what he once was, and what he will most likely be remembered as: the greatest actor of his generation.
    -- by Matt Heffernan <>

The Score

The Godfather
Last Tango in Paris

On the Waterfront

A Streetcar Named Desire

For more information, go to the Internet Movie Database

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© 2001 Matt Heffernan