Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Karl Malden

One wife in his life, and a LOT of courage.

Malden's most heroic role, though, was offscreen. In 1999, as a member of the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he proposed an Oscar for lifetime achievement for Elia Kazan, one of the America's greatest directors.

Ordinarily, it would have been an easy call. But Kazan had infuriated the Hollywood left in the early 50s by appearing as a friendly witness before a congressional committee investigating Communist influence in Hollywood. Even in 1999 it was still risky to speak favorably of Kazan, and to take on a political left that never forgives or forgets. But Malden did, and the award was presented to Kazan at the Oscar ceremonies, both to sustained applause and some visible sneering from the usual suspects

Requiescat in Pace.

HT: PowerLine

No comments: