Thursday, July 2, 2009

Oscar-winning actor Karl Malden dies at age 97

Karl Malden, the Academy Award-winning actor whose intelligent characterizations on stage, screen and television made him a star despite his plain looks, died Wednesday, his family said. He was 97.

Malden's passing was announced on Wednesday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, where he served as president from 1989 to 1992.
"Karl lived a rich, full life," Academy president Sid Ganis said. "He has the greatest and most loving family; a career that has spanned the spectrum of the arts from theater to film and television, to some very famous commercial work."
He developed a love of acting after appearing regularly in school plays and in productions organized by his father at a local church.
After tying the knot Malden forged a successful Broadway career, appearing in landmark productions such as Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" and Tennessee Williams's "A Streetcar Named Desire."

Malden first gained prominence on Broadway in the late 1930s, making his debut in "Golden Boy" by Clifford Odets. It was during this time that he met Elia Kazan, who later was to direct him in "Streetcar" and "Waterfront."
Malden and his wife, Mona, a fellow acting student at the Goodman, had one of Hollywood's longest marriages, having celebrated their 70th anniversary in December.
Besides his wife, Malden is survived by daughters Mila and Cara, his sons-in-law, three granddaughters, and four great grandchildren.

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