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Posted at 4:18 PM ET, 07/ 1/2009

Karl Malden Dead at 97

By Liz Kelly

Karl Malden in 1950. (AP)

The Associated Press is reporting that Karl Malden -- actor, Oscar winner, Amex pitchman -- has died at the age of 97.

We'll have a gallery up shortly chronicling his life and career. In the meantime, anyone looking to compile a list of flicks for a commemorative Karl Malden movie night may want to add these classics to the viewing list:

"A Streetcar Named Desire": Malden won an Oscar for his role as Harold 'Mitch' Mitchell.

"On the Waterfront": Come for Marlon Brando's brooding performance, but stay for Malden's winning turn as a Catholic priest.

"Baby Doll": Elia Kazan's tale about a man married to a child bride is set against a crumbling Southern backdrop. Not for the kids.

Share your memories -- and favorite Malden portrayals -- below.

By Liz Kelly  | July 1, 2009; 4:18 PM ET
Categories:  Celebrities, Obits  
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Comments

To me he is the American Express guy. RIP Mr. Malden.

To all currently ALIVE celebrities -- be very careful, it is a bad summer for celebs. Don't drive, don't cross the street without a bodyguard, hire a food taster, and don't get hit in the head with anything.

Posted by: epjd | July 1, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Interestingly, Karl Malden came from Gary, Indiana, the same city as a certain Michael Jackson.

I wonder who will get custody of Karl's hats.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | July 1, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I was charmed to read once that besides English, Karl Malden was fluent in his family's ancestral Serbian, so was delighted and gracious whenever fans came up and spoke to him in the language (i.e., Serbian).

Oh, and yeah, he was a great actor who created some great roles, too.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | July 1, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Omar Bradley in Patton.

The AmEx guy was basically his Streets of San Francisco character.

Posted by: RockDer | July 1, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

He was married to the same woman for over 70 years...I am blown away by that. He always seemed so down to earth.

I'll always think of him in "On the Waterfront." He was just amazing in that.

Posted by: starbuck13 | July 1, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Although I don't remember any specific episode, I remember my mom was really into the tv show, "The Streets of San Francisco" in the late 70's in which he played Lt. Mike Stone. A young Michael Douglas was his co-star.

Posted by: plamar1031 | July 1, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

To all currently ALIVE celebrities -- be very careful, it is a bad summer for celebs. Don't drive, don't cross the street without a bodyguard, hire a food taster, and don't get hit in the head with anything.

Posted by: epjd | July 1, 2009 4:28 PM

****

Also, don't be 97.

He was great as Gen. Bradley.

Posted by: byoolin1 | July 1, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Interestingly, Karl Malden came from Gary, Indiana, the same city as a certain Michael Jackson.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | July 1, 2009 4:34 PM
====================
And unlike that other denizen, he kept his magnificent nose.

Posted by: mdreader01 | July 1, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I feel like there's some sort of secret massacre going on. I mean, Malden was 97, but so close on the heels? Maybe Billy May started a new threesome?

Posted by: crowtrobot | July 1, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

I along with my wife and kids had the pleasure of meeting Karl Malden and his wife at a film festival in Indy where he was there while On the Waterfront was played on the IMAX some years back.. My Mom's family had grown up on the East side near his family and they all went to Emerson H.S. ,and it was just a real thrill to talk to him.

Terry Ihnat

Posted by: dixieterry | July 1, 2009 7:42 PM | Report abuse

Karl Malden was also brilliant in a key supporting role as Mitch in "Streetcar Named Desire" (but people only seem to remember Brando and Vivien Leigh from that one). And I join others in praising his portrayal of General Bradley.

Posted by: NotDoc | July 1, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

I liked Karl Malden in Streets, but, of course, watched it for Michael Douglas. It was an age thing. My favorite movie role for Karl Malden was Dead Ringer, with Bette Davis.

Posted by: navylady20051 | July 2, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

My favorite movie role for Karl Malden was Dead Ringer, with Bette Davis.

Posted by: navylady20051 | July 2, 2009 6:54 AM | Report abuse

Ditto.

Posted by: jezebel3 | July 2, 2009 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Reverend Paul Ford - Pollyanna (1960)

-------------

His is the life 'actors' should aspire to. He lived his life with dignity and grace and although never a star, he was regarded as one of the best in the business. Farrah and Michael Jackson were both bigger 'stars' than Karl Malden, but he is more of a class act than either of them could ever hope to be. I will always remember his speech at the 2004 Screen Actors Guild Awards--they don't make them like him anymore.

Posted by: bethswatch | July 2, 2009 12:51 PM | Report abuse

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