Karl Malden, one of Hollywood's strongest and most versatile supporting actors, who won an Oscar playing his Broadway-originated role as Mitch in "A Streetcar Named Desire," died today. He was 97.
Malden starred in the 1970s TV series "The Streets of San Francisco" and was the longtime American Express traveler's-check spokesman, warning travelers to not leave home without it. He died of natural causes at his home in Brentwood, said his daughter Mila Doerner.
With his unglamorous mug -- he broke his bulbous nose twice playing sports as a teenager -- the former Indiana steel-mill worker realized early on the course his acting career would take.
"I was so incredibly lucky," Malden once told The Times. "I knew I wasn't a leading man. Take a look at this face." But, he vowed as a young man, he wasn't going to let his looks hamper his ambition to succeed as an actor.
In a movie career that flourished in the 1950s and '60s, Malden played a variety of roles in more than 50 films, including the sympathetic priest in "On the Waterfront," the resentful husband in "Baby Doll," the warden in "Birdman of Alcatraz," the outlaw-turned-sheriff in "One-Eyed Jacks," the pioneer patriarch in "How the West Was Won," Madame Rose's suitor in "Gypsy," the card dealerin "The Cincinnati Kid" and Gen. Omar Bradley in "Patton."
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Karl Malden Dead
From the LA Times: