Wednesday, 1 July 2009


Oscar winning character actor Karl Malden passed away at the age of 97.

He was born Mladen Sekulovich in Chicago, and started out as a theatre actor on Broadway, with some work in radio, and serving as a non-commissioned officer in the US Army Air Force in WW2. He resumed his acting career after the war, and thank to his connection to director Elia Kazan, he got the role of Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire, which landed him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

He worked steady in film and on stage, throughout the 50s and 60s, but made the leap to TV with
The Streets of San Francisco, and became one of the definitive images of the 70s with his "don't leave home without it," ads for American Express.

He was always underrated as an actor, mostly avoiding the melodramatic "look at me" moments, and just being the character he was hired to play.

Malden managed to have a successful career, a long marriage (70 years), and a beloved public image, untainted by scandal, all by avoiding the traps of fame, and treating his work as work, and not some sort of entitlement. He was a class act, and had a good long run that every actor could learn from.


  1. So if we go by your assessments of this things coming in threes, who will be the other two who kicks the bucket?

  2. It's Mollie Sugden the British sitcom star, and Broadway legend Harve Presnell.

    The celebrity deaths are just happening too fast and furious for me.

    I hereby declare a moratorium on all celebrity deaths.