MARLON BRANDO (Max) has been a movie icon for five decades. Born in
1924 in Omaha, Nebraska, Brando attended the Dramatic Workshop in New York for
one year. Following a season of summer stock on Long Island, he made his 1944
Broadway debut as Nels in "I Remember Mama." Two years later he was
seen in the Broadway plays "Truckline Cafe," "Candida," and
Ben Hecht's salute to Isreal, "A Flag is Born," which starred Paul
In 1947, Brando exploded into Broadway stardom with his forceful portrayal of
the screaming, cursing, scratching brute Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams'
"A Streetcar Named Desire." His naturalistic style of acting and
casual, mumbling delivery under the guidance of Elis Kazan heralded the arrival
of "The Method" as a fashionable style of acting. In the late 1940s,
he became an early member of the Actors Studio, a workshop for professional
actors under the direction of Lee Strasberg. In 1960, Brando brought his Actors
Studio training and magnetic, rebellious personality to the screen. In his film
debut he played an embittered paraplegic in Stanley Kramer's "The
Men." He was nominated for Best Actor Academy Awards in four successive
years for performances in "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951),
"Viva Zapata!" (1952), "Julius Caesar" (1953) and "On
the Waterfront" (1954). He won the Oscar for "On the Waterfront"
and also received the New York film Critics Award and the Cannes Film Festival
Throughout the 1960s, Brando's charisma, both on and off screen, made him an
artistic and social force. Young audiences acclaimed him as the rebellious,
nonconforming prototype of the Beat generation' older audiences often saw him an
an anti-social menace, unkempt and unrestrained, but audiences and critics
agreed that he was one of the most original and compelling personalities to
appear on the screen in a long time.
The early 1970s brought superb performances in two extremely diverse roles.
His powerful portrayal in the title role of Francis Ford Coppola's "The
Godfather" brought him a second Oscar, which he refused to accept in
protest of the plight of Native Americans. He won another Oscar nomination as
well as unanimous acclaim for his study of middle-age sexuality in Bernardo
Bertolucci's "Last Tango in Paris." After a long absence, Brando
returned to the screen in 1989, promptly garnering year another Oscar nomination
for "A Dry White Season." He was also nominated for seven British Film
Academy Awards, with three wins for "Viva Zapata!" "Julius
Caesar" and "On the Waterfront." Brando's other film credits
include "The wild One," "Sayonara," "The Young
Lions," "Mutiny on the Bounty," "The Ugly American,"
"The Chase," "The Missouri Breaks," "Superman,"
"Apocalypse Now," "The Freshman," "Christopher
Columbus: The Discovery," "Don Juan DeMarco," "The Island of
Dr. Moreau" and "The Brave."
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