Total Pageviews

Thursday, July 2, 2009

R.I.P. Karl Malden

Karl Malden one of Hollywood's greatest character actors died on July 1st at the age of 97. The way he carried himself and also the way he looked always brought realism to his characters, and the films he was in. Malden was born in Chicago in 1912 and in High School was a big Basketball star. He broke his nose several times playing the great game, and thats how he got his signature nose. He started acting in the late '30's on Broadway, but WWII broke that up for awhile. He returned to acting in the late forties and had small roles in some great Noir films like Boomerang and Kiss of Death. Malden, Marlon Brando, and Elia Kazan became good friends on Broadway and in 1947 they stared and directed in A Streetcar Named Desire. Streetcar was a huge success and Kazan reunited them for a 1951 film version,which Malden won the Oscar for best supporting actor. In 1954 Kazan,Brando, and Malden collaborated for On The Waterfront,which Malden's portrayal of Father Barry was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Other highlights of Malden's career are Kazan's Baby Doll(56). A abusive father in Fear Strikes Out(57) with Anthony Perkins. The Warden in Birdman Of Alcatraz(62) with Burt Lancaster. A has-been gambler in The Cincinnati Kid(65) with Steve McQueen. And General Omar Bradley in Patton(70) with George C. Scott,which was his last great film role. In the 70's to 2000 he did television movies and series, with The Streets Of San Francisco(72-77) being his most successful.

ALSO R.I.P. Harve Presnell

He started off as a song and dance man in the early 60's and had some big roles in The Unsinkable Molly Brown(64) and Paint Your Wagon(69). He released a few albums with his singing and has done many TV and film supporting roles throughout the years. The reason I mentioned him here was because of his flawless performance in the movie Fargo(96). Presnell's portrayal of the cheap, angry, and basic hard ass Wade Gustafson is one of many highlights in a great film. Every time he was on screen their was a smile on my face. He was 75.


  1. if there was any justice in this world, we'd put a rest to the nonstop Jacko mix and jive to the sweet sexy funk of the Streets of San Francisco theme.

  2. Your recognition of Harve Presnell's performance in Fargo makes me all warm on the inside. It's one of the most outstanding performances overlooked by mainstream critics and audiences.... which is ok because I don't thik there is a Coen Brothers' film that is without a performance like that.... and Presnell's is at the top of that list.