Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American actor, film director, and activist. He is credited with bringing a gripping realism to film acting, and is often cited as one of the greatest and most influential actors of all time. He helped to popularize the Stanislavski system of acting, today more commonly referred to as method acting. Brando is most famous for his Academy Awardwinning performances as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront and Vito Corleone in The Godfather , as well as influential performances in A Streetcar Named Desire , Viva Zapata , Julius Caesar , The Wild One , Reflections in a Golden Eye , Last Tango in Paris , and Apocalypse Now . Brando was also an activist for many causes, notably the AfricanAmerican Civil Rights Movement and various Native American movements.
Brando was born on April 3, 1924, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Marlon Brando, Sr., a pesticide and chemical feed manufacturer, and Dorothy Julia . Brando had two older sisters, Jocelyn Brando and Frances . His ancestry included German, Dutch, English, and Irish. His patrilineal immigrant ancestor, Johann Wilhelm Brandau, arrived in New York in the early 1700s from the Palatinate of Germany. Brando was raised a Christian Scientist. His mother, known as Dodie, was unconventional for her time an actress herself, she smoked, wore trousers and drove carsall unusual for women at the timeand was even a theatre administrator, helping Henry Fonda begin his acting career. However, she was an alcoholic and often had to be brought home from Chicago bars by her husband. In his autobiography, Songs My Mother Taught Me, Brando expressed sadness when writing about his mother The anguish that her drinking produced was that she preferred getting drunk to caring for us. Dodie and Brandos father eventually joi