Karl Malden, the Academy Award-winning actor whose films included “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “On the Waterfront,” died Wednesday, The Los Angeles Times reported. He was 97. Malden worked on Broadway and in Hollywood for sixty years, retiring in 2000. In that time, he was in seventy movies and television series, including the long running 1970′s cop drama, “The Streets of San Francisco”. While the man was a great actor, there may be many things you weren’t aware of in Malden’s life. Before are five trivia facts about the late actor.
Karl Malden’s birth name is Mladen Sekulovich. On the interior set of “The Streets of San Francisco”, a desk bearing a nameplate that reads, “Patrolman Sekulovich” was played by Art Passarella, an ex-baseball umpire who is Malden’s stand-in as well. The name Sekulovich materializes in other ways on the show, too, occasionally minor characters are given the name, usually bad guys, funny-looking people or stupid characters.
Malden co-starred in On the Watefront with Marlon Brando. In the scene where all the union thugs have been subpoenaed to testify in front of the crime commission the commission does a roll call. The character played by Fred Gwynne answers to the name Mladen Sekulovich–Karl Malden’s real name.
Karl Malden portrayed General Omar S. Bradley in the movie Patton. The real General Bradley, who served as a technical advisor on the film, and Malden became friends in real life.
Malden was nominated for two Oscars in his lifetime: On the Waterfront and A Streetcar Named Desire (for which he won Best Actor in a Supporting Role). Marlon Brando was also in each of these films.
Malden didn’t learn to speak English until he entered Kindergarten. He was born in Chicago to parents who were of Serbian and Czech ancestory and didn’t speak English at all.
He was married to his wife, Mona Graham, in 1938, and they celebrated their 68th anniversary last year. This marked them as the third longest-surviving marriage in Hollywood, just behind Norman and Peggy Lloyd (70 years), and Art Linkletter and his wife Lois Forester (73 years). The Maldens have two children.