Monday, July 05, 2004

Comments on Death of Marlon Brando 

Goldberg indicated below that he looked forward to my comments on the death of Marlon Brando. Here they are.

1.) First of all, this is the least surprising news since the Bob Huggins heart attack. I note that they can't seem to get the cause of death of right. I have a suggestion - the cause of death should be listed as: "being Marlon Brando."

2.) He really was the greatest actor we will ever see. In his prime, and for brief periods later in his career, he reached a level of pure and raw emotion that was unparalleled before and unmatched today. Many actors achieved a far greater command of their craft, none could even approach the level of talent that he possessed. It simply wasn't that hard for him. This talent was wasted and destroyed - and that's one of the great tragedies of the day. He sort of lived like a rock star - but an actor shouldn't do that. I am sure Goldberg can comment on this - but there is something about rock and roll and music that makes it an art of the young, and so many of the great musicians created something beautiful and either died or faded away. That's not what an actor should do. Brando should have kept getting better - he should have been playing Lear and the like right now. Instead, he faded into a fat joke, and all we have are a few films that capture what he used to be.

From the Newsweek obituary, that I read on the plane home:
In her 2001 biography, Patricia Bosworth quotes an ex-girlfriend who was watching TV with the actor when they came across "Streetcar." "Marlon told me, 'Turn it off,' but I said, 'Please let me watch.' So we did for a while, and then Marlon groaned, "Oh, God, I was beautiful then." Was he ever.
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