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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|
Widely regarded as the greatest actor of his generation, Marlon Brando crafted several of the most iconic characterizations in the history of cinema, a legacy that remained undiminished, despite the heartbreaking trajectory his personal life took in later years. One of Hollywood's earliest "method" actors, Brando leapt from the New York stage to film notoriety with his electrifying portrayal of the brutish Stanley Kowalksi in director Elia Kazan's adaptation of "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951). The roles that followed - in films such as "The Wild One" (1953) and "On the Waterfront" (1954) - were primeval displays of the human condition, never before seen quite that raw on film, that would go on to inspire future acting giants such as Robert De Niro and Jack Nicholson. While still in demand with the studios, Brando's success at the box office gradually began to decline, even as stories of his eccentricities and difficult on-set behavior grew to mythical proportions. Just as it seemed the actor would be relegated to the status of Hollywood has-been, Brando enjoyed an unprecedented career rebirth with his Oscar-winning portrayal of Don Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's "The Godfather" (1972). Then, in a one-two punch, he left audiences speechless with his animalistic and explicitly sexual performance in Bernardo Bertolucci's "Last Tango in Paris" (1973). Increasingly, Brando's professional output became sporadic, remarkable mainly for his high-priced cameo as Jor-El in "Superman" (1978) and a truly bizarre turn as the mad Col. Kurtz in Coppola's wartime opus, "Apocalypse Now" (1979). Although the later decades of his life were remembered more for a series of personal tragedies and the degradation of his once impressive physique, nothing could overshadow the scope and artistic brilliance of the body of work Brando had committed to film in a career that spanned more than 50 years.
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