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|Also Known As:||Marlon Brando Jr.||Died:||July 1, 2004|
|Born:||April 3, 1924||Cause of Death:||lung condition|
|Birth Place:||Omaha, Nebraska, USA||Profession:||Cast ... actor producer director elevator operator|
er open a hotel on the island with his third wife, Tarita Teriipia ¿ his love interest in "Bounty" ¿ which they would operate for nearly 25 years. Despite complex performances as a repressed gay military officer in John Huston's "Reflections in a Golden Eye" (1967) and as a 19th Century mercenary in "Burn!" (1969), Brando¿s films increasingly met with indifference from audiences. By the end of the decade the former box office titan had been reduced to a marginalized presence on the cinematic landscape.
It was not until Francis Ford Coppola cast Brando ¿ in the face of fierce studio resistance ¿ in the title role of "The Godfather" (1972) that he regained his once vaunted stature. His inventive and nuanced turn as the aging mafia boss Don Corleone set the tone for the entire film, received nearly universal critical praise, and earned him a second Oscar for Best Actor. Ever the eccentric, Brando became only the second actor to refuse to personally accept an Academy Award ¿ George C. Scott had been the first ¿ when he sent purported Native American Sacheen Littlefeather in his place, who then read from a prepared statement by the actor decrying America¿s ill-treatment of its native population. It was later revealed that Miss "Littlefeather" was in fact an actress named Maria Cruz. He followed with a riveting method performance as a self-destructive American in Bernardo Bertolucci's controversial "Last Tango in Paris" (1972). The sexually-charged film earned an X-rating at the time of its release due to its raw depictions of eroticism, and garnered Brando his seventh Best Actor nomination for his uncompromising portrayal. After a four-year hiatus, he next appeared in Arthur Penn¿s Western deconstruction "The Missouri Breaks" (1976), opposite Jack Nicholson. As Brando¿s follow-up to "Godfather" and "Last Tango," the unconventional film was perhaps a victim of unreasonably high expectation when it failed at the box-office. In his later years, the actor stated that many of the films that followed were merely jobs he accepted for the financial compensation. His brief cameo ¿ for which he commanded the staggering sum of $3.7 million ¿ as Jor-El, the father of "Superman" (1978) in Richard Donner¿s superhero spectacular bore the claim out.
Brando made a rare television appearance with an Emmy-winning cameo as American Nazi leader George Lincoln Rockwell in "Roots: The Next Generation" (ABC, 1979), before returning to theaters in one of the last truly memorable performances of his illustrious career. As Col. Kurtz, the dark heart of Coppola's hallucinogenic war drama "Apocalypse Now" (1979), Brando was simultaneously terrifying, riveting, and utterly insane. At the height of his professional eccentricity, the actor engaged in a legendary game of cat-and-mouse with his frantic director when he arrived weeks late for filming, grossly overweight, and having personally rewritten his scenes. In spite of this, Brando went on to deliver one of the most compelling and avant-garde performances of his career. Although it met with mixed reviews upon initial release, over the passage of time the film would be regarded as one of the most important films about the Vietnam War ever made. Brando went on to team with fellow Oscar snubber George C. Scott for the turgid corporate thriller "The Formula" (1980), before taking a break from film for several years. Upon his return, Brando earned a well-deserved Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for his engaging performance as a crusty South African civil rights lawyer in Euzhan Palcy's "A Dry White Season" (1989).
The next decade began with tragedy for Brando and his family. In May of 1990 after an alcohol-fueled altercation, his eldest son, Christian, shot and killed Dag Drollet, the Tahitian boyfriend of his half-sister, Cheyenne. Following a trial that saw a tearful Brando admitting to having failed as a father, Christian pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter and spent the next five years in a California state prison. Juxtaposed against the calamity of his personal life, Brando impressed critics and audiences with his comic send-up of Don Corleone in the lightweight romp "The Freshman" (1990) alongside a youthful Matthew Broderick. He kept a low-profile for much of the duration of his son¿s incarceration, but reappeared as a complacent psychiatrist in the romantic comedy "Don Juan DeMarco" (1995), opposite Faye Dunaway and Johnny Depp; with the latter playing a delusional young man who claims to be the legendary lover. With Christian¿s release from prison only a year away, reverberations from the horrific events of the past continued when Cheyenne, still despondent over the death of Drollet and diagnosed with schizophrenia, hung herself at her mother¿s home in Tahiti in 1995. Still reeling from his daughter¿s suicide, Brando¿s experience on the set of "The Island of Dr. Moreau" (1996) was, understandably, not a happy one. Compounding the problems were the reprehensible behavior of co-star Val Kilmer, last minute changes in the cast and crew, and constant delays due to a script that was being rewritten in the midst of filming. Not surprisingly, the completed film was met with disastrous reviews, bombed at the box-office, and earned the revered thespian a "Razzie" Award for Worst Supporting Actor.
Brando's last original screen outing was in the routine heist thriller "The Score" (2001), as a past-his-prime "fence" opposite acting heavyweights of subsequent generations Robert De Niro and Edward Norton. Having been morbidly obese since the 1990s, Brando¿s health continued to deteriorate due to a host of infirmities, including diabetes, liver disease, and congestive heart failure. On July 1, 2004 he died in Los Angeles from respiratory failure brought on by pulmonary fibrosis at the age of 80. However, the world would be given one last performance by the actor when footage shot during Richard Donner¿s "Superman" films ¿ some never before seen ¿ was utilized for an appearance of Brando as Jor-El in director Bryan Singer¿s relaunch "Superman Returns" (2006). Another project which Brando had been collaborating on up until a week before his death, "Citizen Brando" ¿ originally titled "Brando and Brando" ¿ was completed in 2006 as a homage to the late actor.at musicals as a smarmy singing gambler in "Guys and Dolls" (1955), and played a Japanese interpreter in "The Teahouse of the August Moon" (1956). Other notable roles included a turn as a Korean War pilot in love with a Japanese entertainer in Joshua Logan's "Sayonara" (1957) ¿ for which he received yet another Best Actor nomination ¿ portrayed a sympathetic Nazi officer in "The Young Lions" (1958), and played an enigmatic drifter in the steamy melodrama "The Fugitive Kind" (1960).
By the dawn of the 1960s, Brando had gained a reputation as being not only exceptionally talented, but exceedingly difficult, especially when it came to working with directors. Initially slated as a project for director Stanley Kubrick, the revenge western "One-Eyed Jacks" (1961) became Brando¿s sole directorial effort after he and Kubrick parted ways because of creative differences. Tales of bad behavior abounded on the set of the remake of the nautical adventure "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1962). In addition to claims that his antics caused the production to run over schedule and budget ¿ as they had on "One Eyed Jacks" ¿ Brando raised eyebrows with his insistence on giving his character of 1st Lt. Fletcher Christian a decidedly effete British accent. Working steadily, despite his eccentricities, he appeared as a U.S. diplomat in "The Ugly American" (1963), as a scheming gigolo in the comedy "Bedtime Story" (1964), and as a sheriff charged with capturing escaped convict Robert Redford in "The Chase" (1966). Having accumulated tremendous wealth by this time, Brando, who had fallen in love with the island nation of Tahiti while filming "Bounty," purchased the island of Tetiaroa in 1967. He would lat
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