Friday, July 02, 2004

Goodbye, Marlon Brando

Sad news.

[LOS ANGELES (AP) July 1, 2001 - Marlon Brando, an acting icon whose Method style and brooding manner revolutionized film acting in the 1950s, died of lung failure Thursday night at UCLA Medical Center. He was 80. Funeral services are to be private."]

A private man no more. The obituaries reveal aspects of the man that are as interesting, as they are confusing:

• Brando was either 5'9" or 5'10" - he seemed taller - a tribute to his acting and real life persona.

• His family name was either French-Alsatian Brandeaux or Dutch Brandeis.

• He nixed the idea of Burt Reynolds playing his son in The Godfather, presumably because they looked alike. The producers complied and hired James Caan as Sonny.

• A man's man, Brando roomed with Wally Cox, the protypical nerd of the 1950s.

• He loved practical jokes. Once, young Marlon rented a room above a theater entrance so that he could drop paper bags full of crap on the fancy patrons emerging from their cars.

• Once said, "An actor's a guy who, if you ain't talking about him, ain't listening."

• Brando was married three times, to Kashfi, Mexican actress Movita Castenada, and Tahitian Tarita Teriipia. Each of his wives was pregnant when he married them.

• Brando had 11 children - including 3 by his housekeeper!
I wonder who'll inherit the Pacific islands that he bought back in the 60s?

For the next few days we'll be hearing the Godfather theme music, and dialog like "I made him an offer he couldn't refuse." I hope they show one of my favorite lines from 'A Street Car Named Desire':
"I am not a Polack! People from Poland are Poles, not Polacks. But what I am is a one hundred percent American, born and raised in the greatest country on earth and proud as hell of it, so don’t ever call me a Polack!"

Rest in peace, Marlon.

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