77176-004-238EB025The death of Karl Malden may not amount to a hill of beans ….

Wait,. wrong classic movie.

THE classic movie, with which Malden would forever be associated with throughout his long career was “A Streetcar Named Desire,” for which he won an Academy Award (for best supporting actor) for recreating the role of Mitch, Blanche’s unsuitable gentleman suitor in the original Broadway production.

Otherwise mostly known for his distinctively bulbous nose and role as Michael Douglas’s partner in the TV series, “The Streets of San Francisco,” Malden had the sort of rich and varied character-actor career that seems almost impossible today. His many movie credits range from “On the Waterfront” (another Oscar nomination) and “Baby Doll” (in which he was inappropriately hitched to the title character) to “Patton” (as Gen. Omar Bradley) and “Beyond the Poseidon Adventure” (don’t worry about it). The important thing is, he was stalwart and talented and managed to stay employed throughout a long and occasionally distinguished career, including a stint as the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscar people) from 1989-1993.

Eleanor Ringel Cater

Eleanor Ringel Cater

Eleanor Ringel Cater, long-time movie critic for The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, also has been a regular contributor to CNN, MSNBC, Entertainment Weekly, Headline News and WXIA, Atlanta's NBC affiliate, and a columnist for TV Guide.

  1. Thanks for the remembrance of Karl Malden. The “Golden Years” of Hollywood character actors has lost a star as well as a great actor.

  2. Cliff Green

    I always liked Malden’s Mitch. Like him, I fell for any number of crazy-assed women over the years…

  3. Steve Krodman

    My favorite Karl Malden movie was, inexplicably, “Parrish.” Malden as Connecticut tobacco plantation lord in a Tobacco Road-Meets-Society-Hill soaper. Classic.

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