Marlon Brando – Everything You Need To Know

Marlon Brando, Jr. (April 3, 1924 to July 1, 2004) is an American film and stage actor. He is best known for his raw, engaging, and authentic performances. He was one of the most celebrated method actors of his time. Brando’s mumbling, slurred voice signified his rejection of traditional dramatic acting, and his performances made him one of the greatest actors of his generation.

A Quick Glance At Marlon Brando

  • Born: April 3, 1924
  • Death: July 1, 2004
  • Occupation: Actor, Activist
  • Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska U.S.A
  • Notable Projects: The Godfather, Last Tango in Paris, Sayonara

Marlon Brando – Most Iconic Roles

Marlon Brando is an American actor best known for his roles in:

Terry and Edie’s scene in On the Waterfront

10 Best Performances of Marlon Brando

A Streetcar Named Desire

Marlon Brando’s depiction of Stanley Kowalski in the 1951 cinematic rendition of “A Streetcar Named Desire” is iconic. His performance redefined acting standards, introducing a revolutionary level of raw intensity and realism. Brando brought Stanley to life with a captivating physicality, oozing sensuality and strength while simultaneously delving deep into the character’s complex emotional and psychological layers. His magnetic presence on screen and his electric chemistry with co-star Vivien Leigh added a palpable tension to the film. Brando’s iconic portrayal of Stanley earned him an Academy Award nomination and left an unforgettable mark on the history of cinema, forever changing the way actors approached their craft.

A Streetcar Named Desire Official Trailer – Marlon Brando Movie (1951)

On the Waterfront

On the Waterfront, delivered Brando his first Oscar. In “On the Waterfront,” released in 1954 and directed by Elia Kazan, Marlon Brando delivered one of the most iconic performances of his career. He played the role of Terry Malloy, a washed-up boxer turned longshoreman who becomes entangled in the corrupt and dangerous world of the waterfront docks. Brando’s portrayal of Terry is a masterclass in method acting, as he fully immersed himself in the character’s emotional turmoil and moral struggle. He conveyed Terry’s vulnerability, inner conflict, and transformation from a reluctant pawn in the corrupt system to a symbol of courage and justice. Brando’s famous “I could’ve been a contender” remains one of the most unforgettable moments in cinema history. His performance in “On the Waterfront” earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor and solidified his status as one of the greatest actors ever.

I Coulda Been a Contender – On the Waterfront (6/8) Movie CLIP (1954) HD

On The Waterfront (1954) — (Movie Clip) You Take It From Here 

Guys and Dolls

The film institute nominated Brando for several roles on the award list. Despite receiving positive reviews at the time, the 1955 musical Guys and Dolls did not receive the same response. Even though Brando had established himself as one of Hollywood’s most versatile actors, many people were still taken aback when they saw him starring in a musical. With Guys and Dolls, Brando was able to show audiences that he could compete with Frank Sinatra in a completely new ring.

Guys and Dolls Official Trailer #1 – Frank Sinatra Movie (1955) HD

The Godfather

Marlon Brando’s role in “The Godfather” (1972), directed by Francis Ford Coppola, is legendary and iconic. He played the character of Vito Corleone, the patriarch of the powerful and notorious Corleone crime family. Brando’s portrayal of Don Corleone is a masterful display of acting prowess. He embodied the character with gravitas, wisdom, and a quiet but imposing authority that left an indelible mark on cinema history. Brando’s use of prosthetic makeup, including the famous cotton ball-filled cheeks, transformed his appearance, allowing him to disappear into the role. His performance is, to date, a perfect portrayal of masculinity and ego in the Italian-American mafia. It defined indefinite gangster performances in its wake.

THE GODFATHER | 50th Anniversary Trailer | Paramount Pictures

The making of “The Godfather”

Apocalypse Now

In the 1979 war epic directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Marlon Brando took on the role of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz, a highly decorated but mentally unstable and enigmatic officer who has gone rogue during the Vietnam War. Brando’s portrayal of Kurtz is haunting and mesmerizing. He fully embraced the character’s descent into madness, delivering an enigmatic, brooding, and unsettling performance. Shrouded in darkness and mystery, his physical presence added to the film’s sense of foreboding. Brando’s minimalistic yet powerful performance in “Apocalypse Now” reinforced his status as a legendary actor, and his role as Kurtz remains one of the most memorable and enigmatic characters in cinematic history.

Apocalypse Now (1979) Official Trailer – Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall Drama Movie HD

Childhood and Early Life

Born in Omaha, Nebraska, on April 3, 1924, Marlon Brando, Jr. was the third child of an actress and a chemical manufacturer. He had a difficult upbringing. His parents were heavy drinkers marked with alcoholism and domestic violence. Often, his mother would disappear and turn up in a pub, intoxicated. His father humiliated and thrashed him. Problems at school resulted from trauma at home. He disobeyed instructors, started fires, vandalized property, and ultimately faced expulsion from high school for riding his motorbike through the corridors. Despite his difficulties, he became skilled at mimicking the behaviors of his peers, instructors, and even animals. His father attended Shattuck Military Academy, and he was sent there. His elder sisters went on to pursue theater and other artistic endeavors in New York. He tried to enlist in the Army but failed the physical. With few other options, he chose to follow his sisters to New York and try his hand at acting. Marlon Brando’s journey to becoming a legendary actor began when he enrolled at the New School for Social Research in New York City, where he studied under influential acting teacher Stella Adler. His raw talent and commitment to his craft quickly became evident, setting the stage for a remarkable career in theater and film that would redefine acting and leave an indelible mark on entertainment.

“If I have a scene to play and I have to be angry, I can remember my father hitting me.” – Marlon Brando.

Marlon Brando Documentary


Marlon Brando was one of American cinema’s most influential and iconic actors. His career spanned several decades, and he made significant contributions to film and theater. 

Early Theater Work

Marlon Brando began acting on the stage. He studied at the Actors Studio in New York City, where he honed his method acting techniques under the guidance of Lee Strasberg. He gained recognition for his performances in Broadway plays, including his role as Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1947). This role catapulted him to stardom.

Breakthrough in Film

Marlon Brando’s breakthrough in film came when he reprised his role as Stanley Kowalski in the film adaptation of “A Streetcar Named Desire.” His acting performance led to his first Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

Marlon Brando Acting Method #shorts – YouTube

Iconic Roles

Brando went on to deliver a series of iconic performances in the 1950s, including his role as Terry Malloy in one of the iconic films, “On the Waterfront” (1954). He won his first Academy Award for Best Actor. He also starred as Vito Corleone in “The Godfather” (1972). This role earned him another Academy Award nomination and solidified his status as one of the greatest actors in film history.

The Brilliance of Marlon Brando

Influence on Acting

Marlon Brando’s acting style, often called “method acting,” profoundly influenced the craft of acting. He brought a sense of realism and emotional depth to his characters that was groundbreaking at the time. His approach to acting had a lasting impact on future generations of actors and reshaped how they prepared for and portrayed their roles.

How Marlon Brando Changed Screen Acting Forever

Later Career

While Brando continued to act in films throughout his career, his later years were marked by both critical acclaim and some controversial choices in film roles. Notable later films include “Last Tango in Paris” (1972) and “Apocalypse Now” (1979).

Activism and Personal Life

Brando was known for his activism and outspokenness on various social and political issues, including civil and Native American rights. His life was complex, and he faced challenges, including family issues and legal troubles.

In the melancholy drama I Remember Mama, he appeared on Broadway in 1944 as Mady Christians’ son. Though Lunt even prepared Brando for the audition, the Lunts wanted Brando to play the part of Alfred Lunt’s son in O Mistress Mine. However, Brando failed to practice his lines and was not hired. Despite the play’s commercial failure, New York Drama Critics named him “Most Promising Young Actor” for portraying a troubled veteran in Truckline Café. When he played the youthful hero in the political drama A Flag is Born on Broadway in 1946, he declined to take pay that was more than the Actors’ Equity rate. In the revival of her show, Brando co-starred with Katharine Cornell as the Marchbanks, one of her signature roles that same year. 

“The Godfather” was named the best film of 1972, and its star Marlon Brando, the best actor at last night’s 45th annual Academy Awards presentations, but Brando refused his Oscar.

Marlon Brando’s Best Actor Oscar win for “The Godfather” | Sacheen Littlefeather

Marlon Brando Wins Best Actor: 1955 Oscars

MARLON BRANDO – Early screen test

Major Works 

Marlon Brando, one of the most iconic and classical actors of the 20th century, left an unforgettable mark on the world of cinema with his groundbreaking performances. His major works span several decades and include unforgettable roles. Brando initially garnered widespread acclaim for his role in “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951) as Stanley Kowalski. A role that highlighted his innate intensity and skill. He went on to deliver an unforgettable performance as Don Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” (1972), securing the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Brando’s ability to immerse himself in his characters shone in “On the Waterfront” (1954), where he played Terry Malloy, a dockworker torn between loyalty and morality. His influence extended beyond his acting as he challenged the norms of the industry, making him an enduring figure in the history of film.

Top 10 Marlon Brando Movies

Achievements & Awards

Marlon Brando was a legendary American actor known for his remarkable contributions to film and theater. Throughout his career, he achieved numerous awards and accolades. Here are some of his notable achievements and awards:

Academy Awards (Oscars)

  • Best Actor for “On the Waterfront” (1954)
  • Best Actor for “The Godfather” (1973)

Golden Globe Awards

  • “On the Waterfront” (1955) – Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama) 
  • “The Godfather” (1973) – Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama)
  • Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement (1980)

BAFTA Awards

Best Foreign Actor for “The Godfather” (1973)

Tony Awards (Broadway)

  • “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1948) – Best Actor in a Play
  • “I Remember Mama” (1945) – Best Actor in a Musical

Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for “The Godfather” (1973)

Cannes Film Festival

Best Actor for “The Fugitive Kind” (1960)

National Board of Review Awards

  • Best Actor for “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951)
  • Best Actor for “Julius Caesar” (1953)
  • Best Actor for “The Godfather” (1972)

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

  • Best Actor for “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951)
  • Best Actor for “Julius Caesar” (1953)
  • Best Actor for “The Godfather” (1972)

Kennedy Center Honors

Honoree in 1980

Presidential Medal of Freedom

Received posthumously in 2009.

Marlon Brando was celebrated for his acting skills and influence on the art of acting and his significant impact on Hollywood and the entertainment industry. His roles in legendary movies – “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “On the Waterfront,” and “The Godfather” firmly established him as one of cinema’s all-time greatest actors.

Difficult Genius : The Life of Marlon Brando (Documentary)

Marlon Brando’s Unforgettable Response to ‘The Greatest Actor Ever’ Claim! – YouTube 

Personal History and Legacy

Brando’s life was marked by turmoil, including multiple marriages and strained relationships with his children. He also faced financial difficulties later in life. At least eleven children were born to him, and three were adopted. Brando’s public outbursts and antics gained him the reputation of being a “bad boy”. Hollywood reports that “Brando was rock & roll before anybody knew what rock & roll was.” His actions during the 1962 Bounty filming of Mutiny further solidified his image as a challenging celebrity. He denied being responsible for the runaway budget or the change in director, yet he was held accountable for both. Ron Galella, a paparazzo, had his jaw broken by Brando on June 12, 1973.

Marlon Brando is remembered as one of the greatest actors in cinema history. His impact on acting techniques and memorable performances continues influencing actors and filmmakers today. He passed away on July 1, 2004, but his work and legacy remain integral to film history.

Marlon Brando’s career spanned theater and film, and his contributions to the acting world are still celebrated and studied by actors and film enthusiasts worldwide.

Marlon Brando Facts That Will Astound You

Marlon Brando was a legendary American actor known for his exceptional talent and influence on film and theater. Here are some interesting facts about him:

A Difficult Child

Marlon Brando was born on April 3, 1924, in Omaha, Nebraska, as Marlon Brando Jr. He had a troubled upbringing and was expelled from several schools for behavioral issues.

Stanislavski’s Method 

Brando is often credited with popularizing the Stanislavski system of acting, commonly known as “Method Acting,” in the United States. This technique encourages actors to tap into their emotions and experiences to portray characters convincingly.

Breakthrough Role

His breakout role was in the 1951 film “A Streetcar Named Desire,” where he played the brooding Stanley Kowalski. This performance earned him his first Academy Award nomination.

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) – Stella! Scene | Movieclips

The Commencement of Awards

Brando earned his inaugural Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Terry Malloy in the 1954 film “On the Waterfront.” His performance in this movie is often considered one of the greatest in cinematic history. Rebel Without a Cause Brando was originally considered for the role of Jim Stark in the classic film “Rebel Without a Cause” (1955), which eventually went to James Dean.

The Godfather

Don Vito Corleone in “The Godfather” (1972) stands as one of Brando’s most iconic portrayals. He famously won an Academy Award for his portrayal but declined the award to protest Hollywood’s treatment of Native Americans.


Brando was known for his unconventional behavior, both on and off-screen. He often clashed with directors and producers, and his unpredictable nature sometimes made him a challenging actor.

An Activist

Brando was a passionate advocate for civil rights and Native American rights. He used his fame to raise awareness of these issues and was involved in various political and social causes throughout his life.

Island Paradise 

In the 1960s, Brando purchased Tetiaroa, a private atoll in French Polynesia. He developed it into an eco-friendly luxury resort called The Brando, where he lived part-time and sought to promote sustainable tourism.

Family Legacy 

Marlon Brando had a complex personal life with multiple marriages and children. His son, Christian Brando, was involved in a high-profile murder case in 1990.

A Few Notable Movies of Marlon Brando

The Godfather (1972) 

Brando’s portrayal of Vito Corleone in this classic film is often considered one of the greatest performances in cinema history.

THE GODFATHER | 50th Anniversary Trailer | Paramount Pictures

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A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) 

His role as Stanley Kowalski in this adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ play earned him his first Academy Award nomination and launched his film career.

A Streetcar Named Desire Official Trailer – Marlon Brando Movie (1951)

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On the Waterfront (1954) 

Brando secured his initial Academy Award for his portrayal of Terry Malloy, a former boxer turned longshoreman.

On the Waterfront (1954) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

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Apocalypse Now (1979) 

Brando played the enigmatic Colonel Walter E. Kurtz in this war epic, delivering a haunting and memorable performance.

Apocalypse Now | Official Trailer

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Last Tango in Paris(1972)

Brando’s role in this controversial film pushed boundaries and showcased his talent for intense, emotionally charged performances.

Last Tango in Paris 1972 Trailer | Marlon Brando | Maria Schneider

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Julius Caesar(1953) 

Brando’s portrayal of Mark Antony in this adaptation of Shakespeare’s play was highly acclaimed.

Julius Caesar Official Trailer #1 – James Mason Movie (1953) HD

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The Wild One(1953) 

Brando’s role as a rebellious motorcycle gang leader in this film is iconic and contributes to his status as a symbol of rebellion.

THE WILD ONE (1953) Trailer

Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) 

He played Fletcher Christian in this historical drama, earning another Academy Award nomination.

Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) – Original Theatrical Trailer

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Guys and Dolls(1955) 

Brando showcased his versatility by taking on the role of Sky Masterson in this musical.

Guys and Dolls Official Trailer #1 – Frank Sinatra Movie (1955) HD

[Jwatchnow link=”″ watchon=”Amazon”]

The Chase (1966) 

While less well-known than some of his other films, Brando’s performance in this drama is noteworthy.

The Chase (1966) ORIGINAL TRAILER [HD 1080p]

[Jwatchnow link=”″ watchon=”Amazon”]


Marlon Brando’s Unforgettable Response to ‘The Greatest Actor Ever’ Claim! – YouTube

Rare Marlon Brando screentest

The Actor Who Didn’t Care – Marlon Brando



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