Actor with Chicago Roots Karl Malden Dies | WBEZ
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Actor with Chicago Roots Karl Malden Dies

Karl Malden, a veteran of stage, screen, and television has passed away at the age of 97. He once said he'd “be No. 1 in the No. 2 parts I was destined to get.” Malden was born Mladen Sekulovich in 1912, in Chicago's Serbian enclave. The family moved to Gary, Indiana, when he was 5 years old. After graduating high school, Malden worked in Gary's famed steel mills and also delivered milk. Three years later, he enrolled in the Goodman School of Drama at the Art Institute of Chicago. A few years later Malden befriended producer/director Elia Kazan, who would play an important part in his career. Kazan gave him the roll of “Mitch” in Tennessee William's A Streetcar Named Desire on Broadway, and he reprised that roll for the 1951 screen version, playing alongside Marlon Brando and Vivian Leigh. Malden won the Academy Award for best-supporting actor for that roll. Malden acted in over 50 films, including Gypsy, The Birdman of Alcatraz, Patton, and others.

Malden married Mona Graham, a fellow student at the Goodman School in Chicago. They had two daughters, and remained married until he died yesterday at the age of 97.

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