Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American actor who performed for over half a century.
He was perhaps best known for his roles as Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire and his Academy Award-winning performance as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront, both directed by Elia Kazan, and his Academy Award-winning performance as Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. In middle age he also played Colonel Walter Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, also directed by Coppola, and delivered an Academy Award-nominated performance as Paul in Last Tango in Paris. Brando had a significant impact on film acting. He was the foremost example of the “method” acting style, and became notorious for his “mumbling” diction, but his mercurial performances were highly regarded and he is now considered one of the greatest American film actors of the twentieth century. Director Martin Scorsese said of him, “He is the marker. There’s ‘before Brando’ and ‘after Brando’.'” Actor Jack Nicholson once said, “When Marlon dies, everybody moves up one.”
Brando was also an activist, supporting many issues, notably the American Civil Rights and various American Indian Movements.