Sunday, July 5, 2015

Karl Malden 1912 -- 2009

I was certain that veteran actor Karl Malden was immortal. I am sad to be wrong. One of the most reliable and versatile of performers -- the bulb-nosed actor persuasively played the idealistic priest in On the Waterfront and the domineering baseball Dad in Fear Strikes Out -- made his movie debut nearly 70 years ago in They Knew What They Wanted.

Karl Malden 1912 -- 2009

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I was certain that veteran actor Karl Malden was immortal. I am sad to be wrong. One of the most reliable and versatile of performers -- the bulb-nosed actor persuasively played the idealistic priest in On the Waterfront and the domineering baseball Dad in Fear Strikes Out -- made his movie debut nearly 70 years ago in They Knew What They Wanted.

The Oscar-winning actor (A Streetcar Named Desire) was an axiom of stage (Golden Boy) screen (Baby Doll) and television (Streets of San Francisco). Incredibly, he co-starred with Vivien Leigh and Michael Douglas. 

The Broadway-trained performer of Serbian descent did his most memorable work on stage and screen for Elia Kazan, acting the role of Blanche DuBois' skittish suitor both in the stage and screen versions  Streetcar, holding his own and then some against the macho muscle of Marlon Brando and the petal-like fragility of Vivien Leigh. I never liked him so much as I did as Rosalind Russell's faithful suitor in Gypsy, exuding patience, humor and resourcefulness, likewise as Gen. Omar Bradley in Patton. About few actors can one say he could do anything -- and did.

Your favorite Malden? 

Film Critic
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Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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