Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Born Today In 1924, Oscar-Winning Actor Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando Jr. was born today, April 3, in 1924. He was an actor, film director, and activist. He is credited with bringing realism to film acting, helping to popularize the Stanislavski system of acting, studying with Stella Adler in the 1940s. Regarded for his cultural influence on 20th century film, Brando's Academy Award-winning performances include that of Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (1954) and Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972). 

Brando was an activist for many causes, notably the civil rights movement and various Native American movements.

He initially gained acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for reprising the role of Stanley Kowalski in the 1951 film adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire, a role that he originated successfully on Broadway. He received further praise for his performance as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront, and his portrayal of the rebellious motorcycle gang leader Johnny Strabler in The Wild One proved to be a lasting image in popular culture. 

Brando received Academy Award nominations for playing Emiliano Zapata in Viva Zapata!; Mark Antony in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1953 film adaptation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar; and Air Force Major Lloyd Gruver in Sayonara (1957), an adaption of James Michener's 1954 novel. 

The 1960s proved to be a fallow decade for Brando. 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

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. With that and his Oscar-nominated performance in Last Tango in Paris, Brando re-established himself in the ranks of top box-office stars. Brando took a 4-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 9-year break from motion pictures. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Brando was paid a record $3.7 million ($15 million in inflation-adjusted dollars) and 11.75 percent of the gross profits for 13 days' work on Superman

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.

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. He was one of six professional actors, along with Charlie Chaplin, Ronald Reagan, Lucille Ball, Frank Sinatra, and Marilyn Monroe, named in 1999 by Time magazine as one of its 100 Most Important People of the Century.

Brando was known for his tumultuous personal life and his large number of wives, girlfriends, and children. He was the father to 11 children, three of whom were adopted.

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 Telegraph reports:

Richard Pryor's widow has confirmed that the late comedian slept with Marlon Brando, after record producer Quincy Jones let slip about their fling in an extraordinary interview.

Marlon Brando poses with his arm around James Baldwin, author and civil rights leader, at Lincoln Memorial, August 28, 1963, during the March on Washington. Charlton Heston and Harry Belafonte are behind them. (AP Photo)

In an interview with New York magazine's website Vulture, Quincy Jones also claimed that Brando had slept with the singer Marvin Gaye, and with novelist James Baldwin.

Brando, who died in 2004, had occasionally spoken about his same-sex encounters, but had never named Pryor as a partrner. In a 1976 interview, the actor told a French journalist: "Homosexuality is so much in fashion, it no longer makes news. Like a large number of men, I, too, have had homosexual experiences, and I am not ashamed."

See full article here.


Raybeard said...

In the last photo above, Chuck Heston's face says it all - furrowed brow, tight lips, a grimace like he's just eaten something sour - I shouldn't be at all surprised that he's biting his tongue in there.

But you've got to hand it to Brando - a mountain of a man in reputation and intrigue (even if he became something like that physically too in has latter years!). On screen he effortlessly attracted one's gaze like a powerful magnet such as very few others have managed - and in any film he is the one I always remembered no matter who else starred with him.

Sooo-this-is-me said...

I had only recently heard about Brando's relations with men as well as women. I can't help think lucky men (lol). I wish there was a site like this when I was a kid growing up gay, I wouldn't have felt so alone, at least now kids in the LGBTQ community can see they have a long history no matter how hard some people tried to suppress it.