Filmdom lost one of its finest today. Karl Malden, the blunt-nosed Oscar-winning actor whose career spanned 7 decades, passed away at his Brentford home at the age of 97. Born in 1912 in Gary, Indiana, he first appeared on Broadway in 1937. Taking time off to serve in world war two, Malden returned to the theatre and worked extensively within The Group Theatre in New York City where he made the acquaintances of two men whose careers would intersect to make cinematic history: Elia Kazan and Marlon Brando. Malden’s turn in 1951’s Streetcar Named Desire as Mitch, Marlon Brando’s best friend, earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. No less memorable were the critical successes that followed in a slew of challenging, topical pictures such as the seminal On the Waterfront, Baby Doll and Fear Strikes Out.
Malden represents an era in filmmaking when gutsy, relentless performances and envelope-pushing direction helped usher in the dawn of a New Hollywood.
A true original and an unforgettable presence onscreen, Malden’s electric body of work will continue to inspire—always.