Karl Malden – RIP

I don’t normally post about actors, but Karl Malden (NYT obit) always seemed to be real, normal, all those adjectives that seem unactor-like. Perhaps because it was the Streets of San Francisco (A Quinn Martin Production) was my first experience with his work. I was only 13 or 14 when I saw the shows in rerun a few years after the show had ended. Malden’s character always seems reasoned and impassioned, but not the kind of over the top stress ball that is in vogue these days. He seemed fatherly for a time when the sitcom father had long since passed into unreality.

His role in Patton, too, is remarkable. Again he makes the General Bradley seem the every man, which was his reputation. More importantly, though, it has always made me think, it isn’t the prima donas that run the world, but the every man who can control them. Of course, this isn’t quite true, but the way he plays the role makes it seem that way.