Karl Malden, a versatile Oscar-winning actor who built a six-decade Hollywood career playing heroes and heavies — and, often, relatable ordinary men — was certain he was best known as a commercial pitchman for American Express.
Malden, the performer who won an Oscar for playing Mitch in the 1951 film "A Streetcar Named Desire" with Marlon Brando and starred in the 1970s TV series "The Streets of San Francisco," was one of Hollywood's strongest and most versatile supporting actors.
In a movie career that flourished in the 1950s and '60s, Malden played a variety of roles in more than 50 films, including the sympathetic priest in "On the Waterfront," the resentful husband in "Baby Doll," the warden in "Birdman of Alcatraz," the pioneer patriarch in "How the West Was Won," Madame Rose's suitor in "Gypsy," the card dealer in "The Cincinnati Kid" and Gen. Omar Bradley in "Patton."
The variety of the roles established Malden, former Times film critic Charles Champlin once wrote, "as an Everyman, but one whose range moved easily up and down the levels of society and the IQ scale, from heroes to heavies and ordinary, decent guys just trying to get along."
|1951||Best Supporting Actor||A Streetcar Named Desire||Win|
|1954||Best Supporting Actor||On the Waterfront||Nomination|