Dubbed the “Actor of the Century” by Time Magazine, Marlon Brando has been credited by many critics as the greatest actor to ever grace Hollywood.
With a career spanning 60 years, he starred in at least 43 movies and helped popularize Method Acting – a style of acting in which an actor ‘lives the character he or she is portraying through sincere and emotionally expressive performances.
After his death in 2004, Hollywood historian Robert Osborne lauded him for the influence he had on the industry.
People always ask me who was the most influential guy to us young guys back then. Anyone who doesn’t tell you Brando was the man, they’re lying. He influenced more young actors of my generation than any actor. Anyone who denies it never understood what it was all about. I loved him.
“He was the first one who was coming out on stage and was not this sophisticated … At that time, you went to the theatre to see sophistication and glamour but he was a real person … actors, you saw them acting, and you could not catch him acting,” Film critic Leonard Maltin recalled about the actor.
Here are 10 facts you probably didn’t know about the Hollywood legend:
1. Marlon Brando was nineteen years old when he first learned the Method style of acting. He learned it while taking acting classes at the New School for Social Research. He quickly became exceptional at it and adopted it in the course of his acting career.
2. As a child, he developed an uncanny ability to mimic other kids he played with and portrayed them dramatically while staying in character.
3. He became famous for his role in the movie “A Streetcar Named Desire.”
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4. Marlon had a penchant for making trouble and as a result, he was sent off to Military school.
5. At some point, Marlon’s career began to take a turning for the worst. Hollywood directors and producers described him as someone difficult to work with and perhaps tired of acting. However, that changed when he appeared in the nineteen seventy-two film The Godfather. The Godfather became one of the most commercially successful films at the time.
6. The actor received the Oscar award for Best Actor for his performance in The Godfather but rejected it because he didn’t like the way the American film industry treated Native Americans.
7. Marlon was very vocal in his lifetime. He spoke out against racism and gave financial support to civil rights groups.
8. He was romantically involved with many women and had a total of three marriages.
9. He was a close friend of Michael Jackson and often visited his Neverland ranch to take extended breaks. He also appeared in the music video of Michael Jackson’s You Rock My World.
10. Marlon had a great sense of humour. Actor Jonny Depp described him as “having the sense of humour of a child.”