Oscar winner Karl Malden dead at 97
Posted 1 hour 32 minutes ago
Updated 44 minutes ago
Oscar-winning actor Karl Malden, best known for roles in A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront and the TV series The Streets Of San Francisco, has died aged 97.
Malden died in his sleep at 2:30am (local time) in his Los Angeles area home, agent Budd Moss said.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, where Madden served as president from 1989 to 1992, said in a statement the actor died surrounded by family members.
No cause of death has been disclosed, but he had been in failing health in recent years.
In a career spanning seven decades, Malden made his mark portraying plain-spoken men of gruff, coarse manner, although he was noted for bringing an understated, natural dignity to many of his roles.
His talents earned him a place in the works of playwrights Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams, as well as directors Elia Kazan, Alfred Hitchcock and John Frankenheimer.
He shared the screen with the likes of Vivien Leigh, Montgomery Clift, Rod Steiger and George C Scott.
He was born Mladen George Sekulovich in Chicago to parents of Serb and Czech origins, grew up in Gary, Indiana, and worked at a steel mill before accepting a scholarship to Chicago's Goodman Theatre.
Another scholarship student, Mona Greenberg, became his wife in 1938. The couple celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last year.
Malden's stage debut came in 1937 in the New York production of Golden Boy.
He later appeared in the original cast of Miller's All My Sons.
Malden landed his first big screen part in the 1940 drama They Knew What They Wanted, starring Carole Lombard and Charles Laughton, and went on to appear in some 50 movies in the next 40 years.
Malden's recreation of the role of Mitch in A Streetcar Named Desire earned him an Academy Award for best supporting actor in 1951. He scored another nod in that category for playing Father John in On The Waterfront.
He had a memorable turn as General Omar Bradley in Patton in 1970 before becoming a primetime TV fixture and earning four Emmy nominations as police detective Mike Stone on the 1970s drama The Streets Of San Francisco.
Then-budding actor Michael Douglas co-starred as his young partner. Douglas has credited Malden as his mentor ever since.
"I'm a workaholic," Malden once said.
"I love every movie I've been in - even the bad ones - every TV series, every play, because I love to work."