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The Universal Magazine

Centenary of Marlon Brando: An Unmatched Cinema Legend

Marlon Brando on a film set

Marlon Brando, born a hundred years ago, remains one of the most fascinating figures in the history of cinema. His meteoric rise and equally spectacular fall testify to a life marked by extremes of glory and personal setbacks.

From the 1950s, Brando became an absolute symbol with a magnetic presence, notably through roles such as that of Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. His talent, enhanced by classes at the Actor Studio, allowed him to embody a range of complex and tormented characters, often rebellious figures who have marked the big screen.

Behind the genius of the actor, however, hid a man of many facets, torn between his public identity and his personal torments. Brando was known for his tumultuous relationships with both women and men, and his often unhappy marriages.

His professional journey was a series of peaks and declines worthy of a Greek tragedy. After resounding successes, he turned to less remarkable films, although he always knew how to return to the limelight, such as with his legendary role in The Godfather.

Beyond his career, Brando also got involved in various social and political causes, asserting his presence at major events like the March on Washington for Civil Rights in 1963. His private life, however, was overshadowed by tragedies, notably the troubles of his son Christian and the suicide of his daughter Cheyenne.

The complexity of Brando, his highs and lows, his undeniable charisma both on and off screen, continue to make him an indispensable figure of the seventh art.