When I found out that Karl Malden died last week, I initially recalled many of my favorite roles that he played and thought about how much he would be missed.
His peaceful demise at 97 years of age doesn’t qualify as a tragedy, but even as a signpost of normal passage, there is genuine bereavement at his departure.
As an actor and persona, Malden was so steady, so permanent. It never occurred to me that there would be a world without Karl Malden. He simply had always been there in movies, television and before all that, a belwether of Broadway.
As I considered Malden's career, it occurred to me that a seminal era in American acting is drawing towards final curtain.
Karl Malden was not only Hollywood’s version of Methuselah; he was one of the last of the original New York City Group Theatre alumni.
Lasting only a decade, the Group’s...