Wootton Talks Tinseltown Trailblazers: MARLON BRANDO: Bad Boy & Activist
Acclaimed, influential and controversial, Marlon Brando (1924–2004) broke through with his Oscar-nominated role in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). This was followed by his cultural icon character of Johnny Strabler in The Wild One (1953) and Oscar-winning turn in On the Waterfront (1954) before he acquired a reputation for difficulty – notably with Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) – that contributed to a fallow 1960s.
Brando rebounded with his controversial Oscar-nominated performance for Last Tango in Paris (1972) and Oscar-winning role in The Godfather (1972), as well as high-paying roles in Superman (1978) and Apocalypse Now (1979). He withdrew from acting in the 1980s only to make a number of ill-fated returns in the 1990s, including the troubled Australian production of Island of Dr Moreau (1996).
Wootton describes Brando’s long and complex career, his troubled, often tragic, personal life (which includes obesity and 11 children) and his political activism, which included campaigning with the American civil rights movement and, later, against Apartheid; agitating for fair housing and against discrimination; and, most famously, refusing his Godfather Oscar over poor treatment of America’s first peoples.
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