Actor Karl Malden, who achieved just about everything possible as an actor, died today at 97. Malden was from a generation of honest, muscular actors. He held his own against Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront, anchored over 100 episodes of The Streets of San Francisco and worked with dignity as a pitchman for American Express. (“Don’t leave home without it.”)
Malden hadn’t worked regularly since the early ’90s, but he remained representative of genuine actors who could embody a wide range of characters, and who found success without matinee idol looks. He was equally committed to his work whether being directed by Elia Kazan (Streetcar, Waterfront), Dario Argento (Cat O’ Nine Tails) or Franklin J. Schaffner (Patton). We need a lot more faces and personalities like his, and he will be missed.