Marlon Brando

Marlon Brando


4/3/1924, Omaha, Nebraska



Birth Name

Marlon Brando Jr.


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Marlon Brando is an American actor who is best known for his roles in The Godfather, A Streetcar Named Desire, Guys and Dolls, and On The Waterfront. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential actors in the history of American film. Brando was born on…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • In 1979, Marlon won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special playing George Lincoln Rockwell in Roots: The Next Generations: Part 7.

    • In 1973, Marlon won another Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role playing Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather.

    • In 1955, Marlon won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role playing Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront.

    • He constantly referred to his good friend Johnny Depp as "the most talented actor of his generation".

    • The Beatles paid homage to his iconic image as Johnny in The Wild One (1953) by placing that image on the cover of their "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

    • As he got older, he refused to memorize his lines and found creative ways to keep cue cards in appropriate lines of sight. For example, his lines were written on Kal-El's diaper in Superman (1978).

    • Marlon Brando came up with the signature "S" as the family crest idea.

    • Marlon Brando supported John F. Kennedy's presidential bid in 1960.

    • Marlon Brando was devoted to the African American cause. He participated in the March on Washington and brought along a cattle prod to symbolize the brutality faced by Southern African Americans. He attended the memorial service for Black Panther Bobby Hutton. He also donated a tenth of his income to numerous Civil Rights groups, including the well-known Souther Christian Leadership Conference.

    • Because he gave EA permission before he died in 2004, Marlon Brando's voice is featured in the EA game The Godfather (2006).

    • Marlon Brando is the subject or a topic in many songs today. Russell Crowe wrote and sang the song, "I Wanna Be Marlon Brando."
      The Dickies wrote "I'm Stuck in a Condo with Mr. Marlon Brando" and Elton John's "Goodbye Marlon Brando" was inspired by the actor's retirement in 1980. He is mentioned in Neil Young's "Pocahontas," David Bowie's "China Girl," Bruce Springsteen's "It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City", The Cult's "American Horse," Madonna's "Vogue," Slipknot's "Eyeless," MC Homicide's "Risen Within," Robbie Williams' "Advertising Space," and The Killers' "The Ballad of Michael Valentine."

    • Brando studied acting at the "Dramatic Workshop" that was a class in the New School for Social Research" which is located in New York City.

    • Brando was expelled from High School for riding a motorcycle through the halls.

    • Because Marlon Brando refused to take the oath when he appeared as a witness at his son's trial, many have assumed he was an atheist. What he actually said at the trial was, "While I do believe in God, I do not believe in the same way as others, so I would prefer not to swear on the Bible".

    • In 1995, Brando appeared on The Larry King Live and kissed Larry King on the mouth. Larry King discusses this, as well as the interview, in his published self titled work.

    • Brando was roommates with Wally Cox when Brando hit hard times. They remained friends until Brando's death.

    • Before Brando became a star he worked as an elevator operator. Brando was so embarrassed when he had to call out the lingerie floor he quit.

    • Brando's oldest son Christian was arrested for killing his half-sister's boyfriend who was a drug dealer.

    • Empire magazine published in the UK ranked Brando 13th of top 100 movie stars of all times in 1997.

    • Brando married Anna Kashfi on October 11, 1957 and divorced her on April 22, 1959. They had 1 child together. Brando then married Movita on June 4th 1960 and divorced her in 1962. 2 children were born from this marriage. Brando married Tarita on August 10, 1962 who he divorced on July 14, 1972 and also had 2 children with. All total Brando had 9 children. Christian Dev born in 1958, Miko born in 1960, Rebecca, Simon, Tehotu, and Stefano all born in 1967, Cheyenne in 1970, Ninna Priscilla born 1989 and two unknown names born 1992 and 1994.

    • Brando liked to perform in movies instead of Broadway as he did a short stint on Broadway and left its theatrics in 1949.

    • Brando was 5'10" in stature.

    • Brando was born Marlon Brando Jr. His family nicknamed him "Bud." Later, Frank Sinatra dubbed him "Mr. Mumbles."

    • In Brando's will, it listed 21 million dollars in properties and money, including a private island in the Pacific (purchased in 1966).

    • Brando had a cameo with his son, Mieko Brando, in Michael Jackson's 11-minute film, "You Rock My World".

    • Brando went to military school but was expelled for insubordination.

    • Brando used to live in Libertyville, Illinois

    • Brando was supposed to be the priest in Scary Movie 2 but had pnuemonia and couldn't make it.

    • Brando is listed in the credits of In the Name of the Father for "special thanks"

    • It came out recently that Brando is the grandfather of rocker/actress Courtney Love.

  • Quotes

    • Marlon Brando: (on imitating life in his acting) ... a perfectly reasonable way to make your living. You're not stealing money, and you're entertaining people.

    • Marlon Brando: There comes a time in one's life when you don't want to do it [act] anymore. You know a scene is coming where you'll have to cry and scream and all those things, and it's always bothering you, always eating away at you . . . and you just can't walk through it ... it would be disrespectful not to try to do your best.

    • Marlon Brando: If given the choice between Kenneth Branagh's production of Henry V (1989) or Arnold Schwarzenegger's The Terminator (1984), there's hardly a question of where most television dials would be turned. If the expenditure of money for entertainment in America is any indication of taste, clearly the majority of us are addicted to trash.

    • Marlon Brando: I come from a long line of Irish drunks.

    • Marlon Brando: I bumped into Marilyn Monroe at a party. While other people drank and danced, she sat by herself in a corner almost unnoticed, playing the piano.

    • Marlon Brando: [on Lee Strasberg] An ambitious, selfish man who exploited the people who attended the Actors Studio, and he tried to project himself as an acting oracle and guru. Some people worshiped him, but I never knew why.

    • Marlon Brando: Most New York and Beverly Hills psychoanalysts are a little crazy themselves, as well as highly motivated to separate patients from their money while making their emotional problems worse.

    • Marlon Brando: Do you remember when Marilyn Monroe died? Everybody stopped work, and you could see all that day the same expressions on their faces, the same thought: "How can a girl with success, fame, youth, money, beauty . . . how could she kill herself?" Nobody could understand it because those are the things that everybody wants, and they can't believe that life wasn't important to Marilyn Monroe, or that her life was elsewhere.

    • Marlon Brando: At Paramount, I sat at lunch with John Wayne. I couldn't even talk.

    • Marlon Brando: [on Marilyn Monroe] Marilyn was a sensitive, misunderstood person, much more perceptive than was generally assumed. She had been beaten down, but had a strong emotional intelligence -- a keen intuition for the feelings of others, the most refined type of intelligence. We had an affair and saw each other intermittently until she died in 1962. It's been speculated that she had a secret rendezvous with [Robert F. Kennedy] that week and was distraught because he wanted to end an affair between them. But she didn't seem depressed to me, and I don't think that if she was sleeping with him at the time she would have invited me over for dinner. I'm sure she didn't commit suicide. I have always believed that she was murdered.

    • Marlon Brando: The good directors that I've worked with will say I'm a good guy. The other fellows will say I'm a bad guy.

    • Marlon Brando: [on Dustin Hoffman] I believe that he has talent. He ought to get away from this rather nervous character that he's played since Midnight Cowboy (1969). Then we'd really be able to see that he's a complete actor.

    • Marlon Brando: [on Hollywood] A cultural boneyard.

    • Marlon Brando: Regrets belong to the past.

    • Marlon Brando: Humphrey Bogart played himself in every movie. Clark Gable always played Clark Gable.

    • Marlon Brando: Never confuse the size of your paycheck with the size of your talent.

    • Marlon Brando: You're not going to call The Rolling Stones artists. I heard somebody compare them - or The Beatles - to Bach [Johann Sebastian Bach]. It was claimed they had created something as memorable and as important as Bach, Haydn [Joseph Haydn], Mozart [Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart] and Schubert [Franz Schubert]. I hate rock 'n' roll. It's ugly. I liked it when the blacks had it in 1927.

    • Marlon Brando: [on Cheyenne Autumn (1964)] That was worse than any other film, because it didn't tell the truth. Superduper patriots like John Ford could never say that the American government was at fault. He made the evil cavalry captain a foreigner. John Ford had him speak with a thick accent, you didn't know what he was, but you knew he didn't represent Mom's apple pie.

    • Marlon Brando: [on Burt Reynolds] I disagree with the thought process of people like him, who is a totally narcissistic person who epitomizes everything wrong with being a celebrity in Hollywood.

    • Marlon Brando: I know I'm not an easy person to get along with, I'm no walk in the park.

    • Marlon Brando: [1976] Homosexuality is so much in fashion it no longer makes news. Like a large number of men, I, too, have had homosexual experiences and I am not ashamed. I have never paid much attention to what people think about me. But if there is someone who is convinced that Jack Nicholson and I are lovers, may they continue to do so. I find it amusing.

    • Marlon Brando: Three or four times, I've pulled a gun on somebody. I had a problem after Charles Manson, deciding to get a gun. But I didn't want somebody coming in my house and committing mayhem. The Hillside Strangler victims - one of the girls was found in back of my Los Angeles house. My next-door neighbor was murdered, strangled in the bathroom. Mulholland Drive is full of crazy people. We have nuts coming up and down all the time.

    • Marlon Brando: I don't see anybody as evil. When you start seeing people as evil, you're in trouble. The thing that's going to save us is understanding. The inspection of the mind of Eichmann [Adolf Eichmann] or Himmler [Heinrich Himmler] . . . Just to dispense with them as evil is not enough, because it doesn't bring you understanding. You have to see them for what they are. You have to examine John Wayne. He's not a bad person. Who among us is going to say he's a bad man? He feels justified for what he does. The damage that he does he doesn't consider damage, he thinks it's an honest presentation of the facts.

    • Marlon Brando: Everybody ought not to turn his back on the phenomenon of hatred in whatever form it takes. We have to find out what the anatomy of hatred is before we can understand it. We have to make some attempt to put it into some understandable form. Any kind of group hatred is extremely dangerous and much more volatile than individual hatred. Heinous crimes are committed by groups and it's all done, of course, in the name of right, justice. It's John Wayne. It's the way he thinks. All the crimes committed against Indians are not considered crimes by John Wayne.

    • Marlon Brando: (on John Wayne's 1971 interview with Playboy magazine) That doesn't need a reply, it's self-evident. You can't even get mad at it; it's so insane that there's just nothing to say about it. He would be, according to his point of view, someone not disposed to returning any of the colonial possessions in Africa or Asia to their rightful owners. He would be sharing a perspective with B.J. Vorster if he were in South Africa. He would be on the side of Ian Smith. He would have shot down Gandhi [Mahatma Gandhi], called him a rabble rouser. The only freedom fighters he would recognize would be those who were fighting Communists; if they were fighting to get out from under colonial rule, he'd call them terrorists. The Indians today he'd call agitators, terrorists, who knows? If John Wayne ran for President, he would get a great following . . . I think he's been enormously instrumental in perpetuating this view of the Indian as a savage, ferocious, destructive force. He's made us believe things about the Indian that were never true and perpetuated the myth about how wonderful the frontiersmen were and how decent and honorable we all were.

    • Marlon Brando: I always enjoyed watching John Wayne but it never occurred to me until I spoke with Indians how corrosive and damaging and destructive his movies were - most Hollywood movies were.

    • Marlon Brando: This is a false world. It's been a struggle to try to preserve my sanity and sense of reality taken away by success. I have to fight hard to preserve that sense of reality so as to bring up my children.

    • Marlon Brando: If Wally [Cox] had been a woman, I would have married him and we would have lived happily ever after.

    • Marlon Brando: (in response to Producer Stan Margulies when Margulies remarks that they could only afford one day's shooting of him) In that case I'm going to ask a question I've never asked in my entire career. How early can I start?

    • Marlon Brando: (to Producer Stan Margulies on his requesting a part in the 1979 miniseries "Roots: The Next Generations") I want to play a small but startling role. I want to be on long enough so that people will say, "Yes, that's really Marlon up there." But not too long because I don't want that much work.

    • Marlon Brando: I don't mind that I'm fat. You still get the same money.

    • Marlon Brando: Privacy is not something that I'm merely entitled to. It's an absolute prerequisite.

    • Marlon Brando: I have eyes like those of a dead pig.

    • Marlon Brando: America has been good to me, but that wasn't a gift.

    • Marlon Brando: Most people want those fantasies of those who are worthy of our hate - we get rid of a lot of anger that way; and of those who are worthy of our idolatry. Whether it's Farrah Fawcett or somebody else, it doesn't make a difference. They're easily replaceable units, pick 'em out like a card file. Johnnie Ray enjoyed that kind of hysterical popularity, celebration, and then suddenly he wasn't there anymore. The Beatles are now nobody in particular. Once they set screaming crowds running after them, they ran in fear of their lives, they had special tunnels for them. They can walk almost anyplace now. Because the fantasy is gone. Elvis Presley - bloated, over the hill, adolescent entertainer, suddenly drawing people into Las Vegas - had nothing to do with excellence, just myth. It's convenient for people to believe that something is wonderful, therefore they're wonderful.

    • Marlon Brando: A movie that I was in, called On the Waterfront (1954): there was a scene in a taxicab, where I turn to my brother, who's come to turn me over to the gangsters, and I lament to him that he never looked after me, he never gave me a chance, that I could have been a contender, I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum ... "You should of looked out after me, Charley." It was very moving. And people often spoke about that, "Oh, my God, what a wonderful scene, Marlon, blah blah blah blah blah." It wasn't wonderful at all. The situation was wonderful. Everybody feels like he could have been a contender, he could have been somebody, everybody feels as though he's partly bum, some part of him. He is not fulfilled and he could have done better, he could have been better. Everybody feels a sense of loss about something. So that was what touched people. It wasn't the scene itself. There are other scenes where you'll find actors being expert, but since the audience can't clearly identify with them, they just pass unnoticed. Wonderful scenes never get mentioned, only those scenes that affect people.

    • Marlon Brando: Even today I meet people who think of me automatically as a tough, insensitive, coarse guy named Stanley Kowalski. They can't help it, but, it is troubling.

    • Marlon Brando: I'm one of those people who believes that if I'm very good in this life I'll go to France when I die.

    • Marlon Brando: It seems to me hilarious that our government put the face of Elvis Presley on a postage stamp after he died from an overdose of drugs. His fans don't mention that because they don't want to give up their myths. They ignore the fact that he was a drug addict and claim he invented rock 'n' roll when in fact he took it from black culture; they had been singing that way for years before he came along, copied them and became a star.

    • Marlon Brando: It is a simple fact that all of us use the techniques of acting to achieve whatever ends we seek.... Acting serves as the quintessential social lubricant and a device for protecting our interests and gaining advantage in every aspect of life.

    • Marlon Brando: To grasp the full significance of life is the actor's duty, to interpret it is his problem, and to express it his dedication.

    • Marlon Brando: (on Malcolm X) He was a dynamic person, a very special human being who might have caused a revolution. He had to be done away with. The American government couldn't let him live. If 23 million blacks found a charismatic leader like he was, they would have followed him. The powers that be couldn't accept that.

    • Marlon Brando: If the vacuum formed by Dr. King's death isn't filled with concern and understanding and a measure of love, then I think we all are really going to be lost here in this country.

    • Marlon Brando: (After accepting the Best Actor Oscar for On the Waterfront (1954) at the 27th Academy Awards ceremony) I can't remember what I was going to say for the life of me. I don't think ever in my life that so many people were so directly responsible for my being so very, very happy.

    • Marlon Brando: (On the Academy Awards, Connie Chung TV interview, 1990) What do I care? I've made all the money I need to make. I won a couple of Academy Awards if I ever cared about that. I've been nominated I don't know how many times and I'm in a position of respect and standing in my craft as an actor in this country. So what the hell, I don't need to gild the lily."

    • Marlon Brando: (On the Academy Awards, to Connie Chung after his Best Supporting Actor nomination for A Dry White Season (1989)) That's a part of the sickness in America, that you have to think in terms of who wins, who loses, who's good, who's bad, who's best, who's worst . . . I don't like to think that way. Everybody has their own value in different ways, and I don't like to think who's the best at this. I mean, what's the point of it?

    • Marlon Brando: (on directing) I did it once. It was an ass-breaker. You work yourself to death. You're the first one up in the morning . . . I mean, we shot that thing [One-Eyed Jacks (1961)] on the run, you know. You make up the dialog the scene before, improvising, and your brain is going crazy.

    • Marlon Brando: (On his characterization of Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront) [The role] was actor-proof, a scene that demonstrated how audiences often do much of the acting themselves in an effectively told story.

    • Marlon Brando: Acting is an empty and useless profession.

    • Marlon Brando: (On the impact of The Godfather) I'd gotten to know quite a few mafiosi, and all of them told me they loved the picture because I had played the Godfather with dignity. Even today I can't pay a check in Little Italy."

    • Marlon Brando: Acting is the expression of a neurotic impulse. It's a bum's life. Quitting acting is a sign of maturity.

    • Marlon Brando: Regret is useless in life. It's in the past. All we have is now.

    • Marlon Brando: (When asked how he spent his time away from the camera) People ask that a lot. They say, "What did you do while you took time out?" - as if the rest of my life is taking time out. But, the fact is making movies is time out for me because the rest, the nearly complete whole, is what's real for me. I'm not an actor and haven't been for years. I'm a human being - hopefully a concerned and somewhat intelligent one - who occasionally acts.

    • Marlon Brando: (On his role in The Godfather) I went home and did some rehearsing to satisfy my curiosity about whether I could play an Italian. I put on some makeup, stuffed Kleenex in my cheeks, and worked out the characterization first in front of a mirror, then on a television monitor. After working on it, I decided I could create a characterization that would support the story. The people at Paramount saw the footage and liked it, and that's how I became the Godfather.

    • Marlin Brando: (On Frank Sinatra) He's the kind of guy that when he dies, he's going up to heaven and give God a bad time for making him bald.

    • Marlon Brando: If there's anything unsettling to the stomach, it's watching actors on television talk about their personal lives.

    • Marlon Brando: An actor's a guy who, if you ain't talking about him, ain't listening.

    • Marlon Brando: I don't think it's the nature of any man to be monogamous. Men are propelled by genetically ordained impulses over which they have no control to distribute their seed.

    • Marlon Brando: The only reason I'm here in Hollywood is because I don't have the moral courage to refuse the money.

    • Marlon Brando: With women, I've got a long bamboo pole with a leather loop on the end. I slip the loop around their necks so they can't get away or come too close. Like catching snakes.

    • Marlon Brando: The most repulsive thing you could ever imagine is the inside of a camel's mouth. That and watching a girl eat octopus or squid.

    • Marlon Brando: I don't want to spread the peanut butter of my personality on the mouldy bread of the commercial press.

    • Marlon Brando: (on his character, Stanley Kowalski, from "A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951) Kowalski was always right and never afraid. He never wondered. He never doubted. His ego was very secure. And he had the kind of brutal aggressiveness that I hate. I'm afraid of it. I detest the character.

    • Marlon Brando: If you're successful, acting is about as soft a job as anybody could ever wish for. But if you're unsuccessful, it's worse than having a skin disease.

    • Marlon Brando: I put on an act sometimes, and people think I'm insensitive. Really, it's like a kind of armour because I'm too sensitive. If there are two hundred people in a room and one of them doesn't like me, I've got to get out.

    • Marlon Brando: I don't know what people expect when they meet me. They seem to be afraid...

    • Marlon Brando: Would people applaud me if I were a good plumber?

    • Marlon Brando: An actor is at most a poet and at least an entertainer.

    • Marlon Brando: The only thing an actor owes his public is not to bore them.

    • Marlon Brando: The more sensitive you are, the more likely you are to be brutalised, develop scabs and never evolve. Never allow yourself to feel anything because you always feel too much.