Thursday, July 02, 2009

Karl Malden's final role

I haven't had anything to say about the rather remarkable number of celebrities who have died in the past week, mostly because I figure I really have nothing to profound to add about any of them.

I loved Michael Jackson's music as much as anyone before he turned into a caricature of himself (though I still think "Off the Wall" is a much better album than "Thriller"), and though Farrah Fawcett was surely and easily one of the sexiest women of all time, I really don't have much to say about her either.

Karl Malden, however, who died Wednesday at age 97, is to me the most depressing of all, because he just contributed so much to the history of cinema. He's best known, of course, for his roles in "On the Waterfront" and as Mitch in "A Streetcar Named Desire," but the first thing I thought of when I heard he had died was his short but very powerful appearance on "The West Wing."

And as it turns out, a quick check of his IMDB resume reveals that was indeed his final performance. It's from an early episode in which President Barlet is considering whether or not to intervene in a planned execution, and it's still resonates very strongly with me. Rest in peace, Mr. Malden.

1 comment:

Jess said...

I love that scene, it's what I thought of when I heard he'd died too. Very powerful.