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Karl Malden Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (49) | Personal Quotes (19) | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 22 March 1912Chicago, Illinois, USA
Date of Death 1 July 2009Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameMladen George Sekulovich
Height 6' 1½" (1.87 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Born to a Czech mother and a Serbian father in Chicago, on March 22, 1912, Karl Malden didn't learn how to communicate a single word of English until he was in kindergarten. Raised in Gary, IN, a medium-sized steel town, Malden--like many other young men in Gary--got a job in a steel factory when he finished school. He worked there for three years until 1934 when, fed up with the drudgery of manual labor, he took a Depression-era gamble and left to follow another goal. After a short time at Arkansas State Teacher's College, he attended the Goodman Theater Dramatic School and never looked back. Three years later he went to New York City to find fame. He rapidly became involved with the Group Theater, an awesome organization of actors/directors who were changing the face of Broadway. Malden's own unforgettable face was shortly in the media when he made his stage debut in 1937. His performance attracted the attention of fledgling director Elia Kazan. With Kazan directing, Karl blazed a trail across the Broadway boards in plays like "All My Sons" by Arthur Miller and "A Streetcar Named Desire" by Tennessee Williams. He returned unscathed from duty in the armed services and then immersed himself in his work. Fortunately, his short "vacation" had not harmed his career. From the "Golden Era" of Broadway, he made a transition to the screen, starting with his first appearance in They Knew What They Wanted (1940). Jobs came came and fast, and in 1951 he won the Oscar for his performance as Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). He was showing himself to be a consummate performer, whether tackling roles that had to be delivered with great moral weight or those requiring none whatsoever, like that of Father Corrigan in On the Waterfront (1954) or the Southern lecher Archie Lee in Baby Doll (1956). A later role came as Capt. Wessels, in John Ford's Cheyenne Autumn (1964). The film, Ford's last, was shot in his beloved Monument Valley. Malden found his greatest fame, however, in the early 1970s on the small screen, as Det. Mike Stone in the hit series The Streets of San Francisco (1972), co-starring with future movie star Michael Douglas. He came into millions of homes every week for five years. He also became the pitchman for American Express, a position he held for 21 years. The crowning glory of his career was in 1988 when he was elected President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a title he held for five years. Not one to rest on his laurels, Malden recently wrote his memoir entitled, "When Do I Start?: A Memoir."

- IMDb Mini Biography By: garyrickii_washtenawcorec@paxemail.com

Born to a Czech mother and a Serbian father in Chicago as Mladen Sekulovich, on March 22, 1912, Karl Malden did not speak English until he was in kindergarten. After graduating from high school in the nearby steel town of Gary, Indiana, Malden worked in the industry for three years until 1934, when he left to attend the Arkansas State Teacher's College, then the Goodman Theater Dramatic School. Three years later, he went to New York City.

Karl rapidly became involved with the Group Theater, an organization of actors and directors who were changing the face of theater, where he attracted the attention of director Elia Kazan. With Kazan directing, Karl starred in plays such as "All My Sons" by Arthur Miller and 'A Streetcar Named Desire' by Tennessee Williams.

While Malden had one screen appearance before his military service in World War II, in They Knew What They Wanted (1940), he did not establish his film career until after the War. Malden won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor as "Mitch" in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and showed his range as an actor in roles such as that of "Father Corrigan" in On the Waterfront (1954) and the lecherous "Archie Lee" in Baby Doll (1956).

In the early 1970s, he built a television career on the tough but honest screen persona he had created when he starred as "Detective Lieutenant Mike Stone" in The Streets of San Francisco (1972), co-starring with Michael Douglas. He also became the pitchman for American Express, a position he held for 21 years.

In 1988 he was elected President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, a position he held for five years. Following that he published his memoir entitled, "When Do I Start?: A Memoir."

Malden also courted controversy by pushing for a special salute to 'Elia Kazan' at the 1999 Oscars. Malden defended both Kazan and the award, arguing that Kazan's artistic achievements outshone any shame attached to Kazan's naming names before the Congressional committee investigating Communists in Hollywood. Marlon Brando refused to give Kazan the statuette; Robert De Niro ultimately did.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Henry Willis

Spouse (1)

Mona Greenberg (18 December 1938 - 1 July 2009) (his death) (2 children)

Trade Mark (3)

Bulbous, mis-shapen nose - he broke it twice playing sports as a teenager
His expansive manner.
His strong, Czech, commanding voice.

Trivia (49)

Born Mladen Sekulovich, he always regretted that in order to become an actor, he had to change his name. Since he was proud of his heritage, when he starred in a movie or on TV, he insisted that a character carry his family name: In On the Waterfront (1954), Fred Gwynne's character was named "Sekulovich".
In 1971, he accepted the Oscar for "Best Director" on behalf of Franklin J. Schaffner, who wasn't present at the awards ceremony
The Maldens'married in 1938 and stayed married until his death in 2009, making theirs the third longest marriage in Hollywood history surpassing the 69 years of Bob Hope and Dolores Hope (1934 until his death in 2003) and just behind Norman Lloyd and Peggy Lloyd, who were married in 1936 and Art Linkletter and Lois Foerster (married 1935-2010) who hold the record with 74 years.
Was a close friend of The Magnificent Seven (1960) star Brad Dexter. who was also of Serbian descent.
President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1989 to 1992
Member of the jury at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1963
Has two daughters, Mila Malden and Carla Malden. Carla co-authored his autobiography "When Do I Start".
Received both of his Oscar-nominations for movies also starring Marlon Brando.
Raised in the same city as Michael Jackson.
Of Serbian and Czechoslovakian descent.
In 2001, he received an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from Valparaiso University.
On November 12, 2005, the Los Angeles Barrington Station renamed the building, after him, in Los Angeles, California, in honor of his proud achievements. This was followed by a passage of a bill founded by U.S. Congressman, Henry Waxman.
On November 11, 2004, his ex-The Streets of San Francisco (1972), co-star, Michael Douglas, presented him with the Monte Cristo Award of the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, Connecticut, for the Lifetime Achievement Award. Among the recipients besides Malden were Jason Robards, Zoe Caldwell, Edward Albee, August Wilson and Brian Dennehy.
After he graduated from high school at the top of his class, he briefly left Gary, Indiana, to move to Arkansas, where he'd hoped to get a college athletics scholarship. The college turned him down due to his refusal to play football, other than basketball, hence, he returned to his hometown of Gary, Indiana.
His father, Petar Sekulovich, produced Serbian plays at his church.
As a teenager, he joined the Karageorge Choir.
His family moved to Gary, Indiana, when he was 5.
On December 12, 2008, just six days before his 70th wedding anniversary, Malden was inducted into the Wall of Legends, at St. Sava Church in San Gabriel, California, where Milan Opacich paid tribute to a wonderful man who was a great benefactor of a Serbian Ortodox church.
He always practised meticulous preparation, studying a script carefully long before he stepped into the role.
He quit working in the steel mills at 22 to study acting at the Goodman Theatre because he wasn't getting anywhere in the mills.
While working at an acting workshop in New York, he brought Eva Marie Saint, whom he knew.
He had not saved enough money to pay for one semester of schooling at the Goodman Theatre, the dramatic arm of the Chicago Art Institute, despite his working in the steel mills for a few years. He made a deal with the director of the program, hence, he gambled what little money he had agreeing that if he impressed the staff during his first semester, he would be given a full scholarship.
Long before Michael Douglas, worked with him, Malden's friendship with Douglas' father began in 1940, when a 23-year-old unfamiliar actor, Kirk Douglas, attended New York Summer Stock with him, prior to Kirk's summer vacation from college. This association led Kirk's son to having a co-starring role opposite Kirk's classmate in The Streets of San Francisco (1972), at the time Michael's father said to him that he was about to learn a lot from his father's classmate.
The most controversial film he starred in was Baby Doll (1956), which he played a dullard husband whose child bride is exploited by a businessman. The film was condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency for what was termed its "carnal suggestiveness." It was written by Tennessee Williams.
Graduated from Emerson High School in Gary, Indiana, in 1931, with high grades.
Was a spokesperson for American Express Traveler's Checks, from 1968 to 1989.
A pitchman for American Express commercials for decades, his slogan ("Don't leave home without them") became a national catchphrase.
At the urging of Elia Kazan, he change his name from Mladen Sekulovich to Karl Malden, taking his maternal grandfather's given name for his first name, and switching a couple of letters of his own first name for his last name. Malden remained a strong friend of Kazan's after the famed director was chastised by the Hollywood community for naming names before the House of Un-American Activities Committee in 1952. He strongly supported Kazan's controversial "lifetime achievement" Oscar honor, claiming that politics should have no place when it comes to awarding artistic merit.
Was offered a scholarship to attend Chicago's Goodman Theater, where he met his future wife, Mona Malden (nee Mona Greenberg), a fellow scholarship student. They wed in 1938 and remained married for over 70 years until Karl's death in 2009.
In high school he played basketball and was president of his class. He broke his nose twice playing sports as a teenager.
The eldest of three sons born to Serbian immigrants Petar and Minnie Sekulovich, he was raised in the Serbian community of Gary, Indiana, where his father worked as a milkman.
Started acting when he was only 15.
His father, Petar Sekulovich, worked in the steel mills and as a milkman, his mother, Minnie Sekulovich, was a seamstress.
Served as a noncommissioned officer in the 8th Air Force.
Before he was a successful actor, he worked in the steel mills.
Graduated from Chicago Art Institute in 1937, and came back to Gary, Indiana, without work or money.
After his father's death, six years later, he traveled to his father's real-life hometown of Yugoslavia, there, he helped produce the film Twilight Time (1982), a private movie.
His wife graduated from Roosevelt High School in Emporia, Kansas, where she attended Kansas State Teachers College (now Emporia St. University). He and Mona visited the campus in 1959, and was impressed by the ESU Summer Theatre. He returned in the summer of 1964, to teach, working with the actors in the company. Prior to leaving, he gave his honorarium to established the Karl Malden Scholarship, which is still given today.
Was also good friends with the late Telly Savalas.
Best remembered on TV for his starring role as Lt. Mike Stone on The Streets of San Francisco (1972).
After a young Dick York who was coming into the hallway, out of the men's washroom, Malden was looking for him to play the role in Tea and Sympathy. He thought York was right for the role, which eventually paid off.
Remained good friends with Michael Douglas, during and after The Streets of San Francisco (1972).
Father-in-law of Laurence Starkman.
Met Harry Morgan in the play of 'Golden Boy.' They would later be friends for over 70 years until Malden's death in 2009.
Acting mentor and friend of Michael Douglas.
Is one of 8 actors who have received an Oscar nomination for their performance as a priest. The others, in chronological order, are: Spencer Tracy for San Francisco (1936) and Boys Town (1938); Charles Bickford for The Song of Bernadette (1943); Bing Crosby for Going My Way (1944) and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945); Barry Fitzgerald for Going My Way (1944); Gregory Peck for The Keys of the Kingdom (1944); Jason Miller for The Exorcist (1973); and Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt (2008). Tracy, Crosby and Fitzgerald all won Oscars for their performances.
Release of his autobiography, "When Do I Start?: A Memoir" by Karl with Carla Malden.
Appeared in four films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), On the Waterfront (1954), How the West Was Won (1962) and Patton (1970). Of those, On the Waterfront (1954) and Patton (1970) are winners in the category.

Personal Quotes (19)

[on his early days] "My father was a milkman. So, I delivered milk."
I'm a workaholic. I love every movie I've been in, even the bad ones, every TV series, every play, because I love to work. It's what keeps me going.
People have told me that I came to this industry at its Golden Age. But when I was there, it was just an age.
I am thrilled to be honored by the Screen Actors Guild because I've been with it for such a long time. The Screen Actors Guild is sort of a highfalutin name for a union, and this union was always wonderful to work for. For the rank-and-file of the union to honor me is the best compliment I can receive.
I have an open-hearth face.
I never thought I was salable. I learned in my second year of drama school that I was not a leading man -- I was a character actor. So I thought, I'd better be the best character actor around.
[In 2007]: I don't go to the movies. There's nothing I want to see. My wife will go out with friends to see a movie now and then, but there's nothing I want to see.
Working in the mills was hard work, but it was good money, I started out as a laborer making $3.49 a day and later, got moved to an even harder position as a bricklayer that had better pay for $5 a day. And for three long and hard years I wondered to myself if this was where I was going to end up for the rest of my life. Finally, I decided I couldn't stay.
[When he traveled to Chicago and needed to ask if Goodman School had acting classes]: They asked me how much money I had, and I told them I had saved my every dime from working in the mills, which was about $300. Well, they told me the school tuition for a year was $900. But the man in charge of the school made me an offer I'll never forget it. He asked me if I was a gambler. He said if I paid the $300, he would take me on and if I worked hard and proved I had talent, somehow he'd find the rest of the tuition money for me.
During that McCarthy period, I was a frightened young man. I was working, but I was frightened.
[on being a professional actor, who knew what it was like when he worked with his bare hands]: If you look in those mills, and you do it long enough, you never forget that, that's there to stay because you feel you've being used for, not for what you have here, but what you have in your body, in your muscle. It's demeaning in a way because you're a human being.
[on actors who have moved on to their own film careers, with the exception of himself]: And then they talk to you about frustration. The first play I was in, Golden Boy, from that play, John Garfield, went to Hollywood, became a big star. Three years went by, and I did another play with another handsome actor, Gregory Peck, who left that play and went to Hollywood, became a big star, and here I am, plowing away, working away, this is years going by.
[on his friendship with Elia Kazan that led him to the feud of Mostel]: Zera couldn't stand seeing a guy, like Kazan, do what he did, and therefore, he even took it out on me and Mona. For a couple of years, this is what happened in New York, at that time, it split people who became close.
I never believed that politics had a place in art, that is to say, not in artistic relationships.
[Who was tall enough to play basketball]: While I was waiting for you to arrive, I was sitting here thinking about that 1930-31 basketball season of my senior year. We were playing Hammond High School, and we were just down by one point as the final seconds of the game were ticking away. I shot the winning basket. I'll never forget what it felt like at that moment.
It was a fun time when you were with them, it was just nothing but craziness. And Zera be working in Cafe Society, and finished around 1:30-2:00 A.M., the last show, and never failed. They would come to our apartment, which is on 6th Avenue, 4 flights up, waked us up and said to Mona, 'Alright, scramble some eggs, toast, make us some coffee, and at 2:00-3:00 A.M., we will be having some toast, coffee and scrambled eggs.
[Who said why he quit his steel job in 1934 to attend acting in college]: Because I wasn't getting anywhere in the mills. When I told my father, he said, 'Are you crazy? You want to give up a good job in the middle of the Depression?' Thank God for my mother. She said to give it a try.
[on his friends's and his own experience working in the steel mills]: He said, 'You're a fool. You realized there are people here, who aren't working, and having worked in 3 in 4 to 5 years, and you got a job, you're the one of the lucky ones, you got a job, and now you're going to leave.' From where he came, he felt this is the greatest thing that could've ever happened to him. This country gave him his job, he could feed his family, he had a home, and that's about all he could expect. And maybe I thought, I should've expect.
[Who said in 1962 about studying a script carefully long before he stepped in the role]: I not only figure out my own interpretation of the role, but try to guess other approaches that the director might like. I prepare them, too. That way, I can switch in the middle of a scene with no sweat. There's no such thing as an easy job, not if you do it right.

Salary (1)

Pilot (1980) $75,000 per 1 hour episode

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