Marlon Brando

On this date in 1924, actor Marlon Brando was born in Omaha, Nebraska. His mother's interest in theater—she worked with young Henry Fonda and others—piqued Marlon's interest in acting. The mimic and high school drop-out moved to New York City in 1943 to enroll in a New York acting workshop, where he was taught the "Method" techniques of Konstantin Stanislavsky. His Broadway debut was in "I Remember Mama" (1944). His movie debut was as a paraplegic in "The Men" (1950). Reprising his memorable depiction on Broadway of "Stanley" in "A Streetcar Named Desire" for the 1951 film, the actor became an overnight sensation. Other memorable films include: "Julius Caesar" (1953), "On the Waterfront" (1954, for which he won his first Best Actor Oscar), "Guys and Dolls" (1955), "The Teahouse of the August Moon" (1956), "Mutiny on the Bounty" (1962), "The Ugly American" (1963), "Reflections in a Golden Eye" (1967), "The Godfather" (1972, for which he won but declined his second Oscar), "Last Tango in Paris" (1972) and "Apocalypse Now" (1979). Brando married three times. His second wife was the Tahitian woman who played opposite him in "Bounty." Brando had nine children (some sources say 11). His son Christian was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to 10 years for the 1990 shooting death of Dag Drollet, the boyfriend of Brando's daughter Cheyenne (Christian's half-sister). Cheyenne, who had drug addictions, committed suicide at age 25. Brando was known for eccentricities and promotion of liberal causes. He died at 80. D. 2004.

"I will not swear on God. I will not swear on God, because I don't believe in the conceptual sense and in this nonsense. What I will swear on is my children and my grandchildren."

—-Marlon Brando, refusing to recite a religious oath while testifying at his son Christian's trial, 1990. Source: Who's Who in Hell edited by Warren Allen Smith

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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