Thursday, July 2, 2009

Karl Malden

Admit it. You thought he had been dead for years already. He was 97, after all. 97!

Growing up, I knew him as the guy on the American Express ads with the funny hat. And as the dude on "Streets of San Francisco" with Kirk Douglas's son. And he was old then.

It was only later that I found his earlier work in two classic films, "On the Waterfront" and "A Streetcar Named Desire", both directed by the great Elia Kazan and both starring some dude named Brando. He was clearly meant to be a character actor. That mug and that schnozz were there even back then. Not a handsome man.

But, as it goes, he could act. And he had himself a long and distinguished career. He stands in stark contrast to this week's other celebrity snuffings. Unlike Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, he lived a long life unmarred by controversy or suffering. His greatest achievement? He was married to the same woman for 70 years. 70! That's beautiful.

A good and well-lived life. Thanks, Karl, for doing it the way it oughta be done.


Kizz said...

Here here!

(70 years, yikes!)

Mrs. Chili said...

I actually did NOT think that he was dead, and I'm sorry to hear that he's passed. Still, he WAS 97, after all.

70 years! Let's see; I'll have to be 97 to be married for 70 years, too (but I'll likely not make it; my husband would be 114...)

Mrs. Chili said...

Sorry - he'd be 104. I'm an English teacher who freely admits she has no facility with even simple arithmetic...

MAB said...

I thought that seemed odd. Didn't think he was that much older. I'll sleep better tonight.