Photo of Karl Malden Karl Malden

An Oscar-winning everyman who owed his distinctive looks to a twice-broken nose, Karl Malden was born Mladen George Sekulovich March 22, 1912, in Gary, Ind. He began his career as a steelworker before making his way to Hollywood via Broadway.

Malden is best known for his Academy Award-winning performance as a sensitive suitor in director Elia Kazan's A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), which marked Malden's big-screen debut alongside fellow Method actor Marlon Brando. Reteaming with Kazan and Brando in 1954 for On the Waterfront, Malden earned an Oscar nod for his portrayal of a courageous priest.

In the 1970s, Malden starred in the popular police drama "The Streets of San Francisco" opposite a young Michael Douglas as his rookie partner. Malden also appeared in iconic TV ads for the American Express card, urging travelers, "Don't leave home without it." He died July 1, 2009, at age 97.

Karl Malden in A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire

1951 PG

After losing the family plantation to creditors, aging Southern belle Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh) travels to New Orleans seeking solace in her sister, Stella (Kim Hunter). Instead, she goes toe-to-toe with Stella's brute of a husband, Stanley (Marlon Brando). Leigh, Hunter and Karl Malden all took home Oscars for their work in this sizzling adaptation of Tennessee Williams's classic rumination on carnal attraction and faded gentility.

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