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Karl Malden

Karl Malden

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Oscar-winning actor Karl Malden, known for his distinctive nose and roles opposite Marlon Brando in "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "On The Waterfront," has died, officials said Wednesday.

He was 97.Malden's passing was announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), where he served as president from 1989 to 1992.A statement distributed by the Academy said the actor, who starred in more than 50 films, died at home surrounded by family members.

No cause of death was disclosed.Born Mladen Sekulovich in Chicago in 1912 to a Serbian father and Czech mother, Malden was the eldest of three sons and grew up in Gary, Indiana.He developed a love of acting after appearing regularly in school plays and in productions organized by his father at a local church.Malden worked in Gary's steel mills from 1931 until 1934 before accepting a scholarship to Chicago's Goodman Theater.Another scholarship student, Mona Greenberg, became his wife in 1938.

The couple celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last year.After tying the knot Malden forged a successful Broadway career, appearing in landmark productions such as Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" and Tennessee Williams's "A Streetcar Named Desire."During this time he developed working relationships and lifelong friendships with director Elia Kazan and co-star Brando.Malden's recreation of the role of Mitch in "Streetcar" earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1951, and he scored another nod in that category for playing Father Barry in "On the Waterfront."After moving to Los Angeles in 1959 to pursue his film career, Malden landed roles in films including "One-Eyed Jacks," "The Cincinnati Kid," "Birdman of Alcatraz," and "Patton."In the 1970s, Malden made a transition to television, starring in the popular series "The Streets of San Francisco" which introduced Michael Douglas.

Douglas credited Malden as his mentor ever since.Besides his work on stage and screen, Malden was equally famous for a string of TV commercials for American Express travelers checks in the 1970s and 1980s in which he famously implored: "Don't leave home without them."Of his American Express ads, in which he invariably sported a Trilby hat and came over as a hard-nosed detective who'd seen it all, Malden once said: "It was a pleasure.

It was a joy.

I loved every minute of it.""I'm a workaholic," Malden said.

"I love every movie I've been in, even the bad ones, every TV series, every play, because I love to work.

It's what keeps me going."

http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/oscarwinning-actor-karl-malden-dies-academy-20090702-d5f7.html
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