Karl Malden

Easton Press Karl Malden books

When Do I Start? - signed first edition - 1997


Actor Karl Malden

Karl Malden, born Mladen George Sekulovich on March 22, 1912, in Chicago, Illinois, was an American actor whose career spanned over six decades, leaving an indelible mark on the worlds of stage and screen. Renowned for his distinctive appearance, gravelly voice, and versatile performances, Malden earned critical acclaim and widespread recognition for his memorable roles in film, television, and theater. Raised in a working-class neighborhood in Gary, Indiana, Malden developed a passion for acting at a young age, participating in school plays and local theater productions. After studying acting at the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago, he began his professional career in theater, honing his craft on the stages of New York City's vibrant theater scene.

Malden's breakthrough came in 1947 when he originated the role of Mitch in Tennessee Williams's landmark play A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway. His powerful portrayal of the sensitive and compassionate Mitch earned him widespread acclaim and led to a successful film adaptation in 1951, in which he reprised his role opposite Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Malden continued to deliver memorable performances in a wide range of film roles, earning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Father Barry in Elia Kazan's On the Waterfront (1954). He also starred in such classics as Baby Doll (1956), The Hanging Tree (1959), and Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), showcasing his versatility and depth as an actor.

In addition to his work in film, Malden found success on television, starring as Lt. Mike Stone in the popular police procedural series The Streets of San Francisco alongside Michael Douglas from 1972 to 1977. His portrayal of the tough but compassionate police detective endeared him to audiences and earned him two Emmy Award nominations.

Despite his success in Hollywood, Malden remained committed to his roots in the theater, returning to Broadway throughout his career to star in productions such as The Iceman Cometh and Galileo. He also served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1989 to 1992, overseeing the organization's activities and initiatives during his tenure. Karl Malden's legacy as an actor and advocate for the arts endures as a testament to his talent, dedication, and integrity. From his early days on the stages of Chicago to his iconic performances on screen, he captivated audiences with his authenticity, humanity, and unwavering commitment to his craft. Though he passed away on July 1, 2009, Malden's influence continues to be felt in the hearts of fans and the annals of entertainment history.


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