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With so much of the world grotesquely fixated on every detail surrounding Michael Jackson’s death, the news of yet another Hollywood legend’s death was announced yesterday with little fanfare.

Actor Karl Malden, known, to some, for being the voice heard in American Express commercials and, to others, for working with a young Michael Douglas on “The Streets of San Francisco,” died yesterday at the age of 97.

I remember Malden most fondly from his supporting roles in classic movies such as “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “On the Waterfront,” both also starring Marlon Brando. Malden was from a first generation immigrant family and had deep working class roots, so it was no surprise that he almost always played the Average Joe trying to do the right thing in a corrupt world. He played those roles to perfection–his best being Father Corrigan in “On the Waterfront.” The call to action Father Corrigan gives on the docks contains some of the most inspiring words that have ever made it to the big screen. You can watch the scene by clicking on the clip below.

 

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