Marlon Brando: Oddly Charming

By: Nathan Chandler
Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

When it comes to describing Marlon Brando, the word "quirky" doesn't quite cut it. The actor was a truly eccentric human being, but he was also an incredible performer who sometimes captivated audiences. How much do you know about this Hollywood legend?

Marlon Brando was known for having which kind of personality?

Brando was a rebel to the core. He caused a ruckus at school and later created frustration for more than one movie director.

When did it become apparent that Brando had acting ability?

Even from a young age, Brando could imitate other people with remarkable accuracy. His ability to cloak himself in other people's mannerisms served him well professionally.

Brando's mother suffered from which problem?

His mother was an actress with substance abuse problems. Her drinking was severe enough that it impacted her ability to parent her children, something that Brando never forgot.

Brando was expelled from high school for doing what?

Brando allegedly straddled a motorcycle and took it for a spin inside the building. It was enough to get him expelled from school.

What happened to Brando after he was expelled from public school?

Brando wound up at a military school, where instructors tried in vain to instill him with discipline. He eventually dropped out of school altogether.

Brando started his life in which state?

Brando was born in Omaha and lived there until his family moved to Illinois. His parents had a chaotic relationship that greatly affected their children.

Why did the Army refuse to let Brando enlist?

Brando had an old football injury that left him with a damaged knee. The Army decided the disability disqualified him for military service.

How did Brando first make a name for himself?

Brando took acting classes and wound up in local stage productions, which then led him to Broadway in New York. His theater work in the mid-1940s showed his range and immense ability.

How did Brando speak about acting as a craft?

Brando said that acting was something people did all day long and that there was nothing mysterious about it. Of course, even other professional actors had only a fraction of his natural talent.

What was Brando's relationship with his father like?

Brando despised his father, who never parented his children and actively tore down his son, telling him that he'd never amount to anything in his life.

How did Brando avoid the draft for the Korean War?

Surgery fixed Brando's bad knee … but made him eligible for the draft. To avoid service he tried to convince the Army that he was a rebellious nut. A well-connected friend ultimately helped him convince the Army he was mentally unfit and thus avoid wartime military service.

What injury did Brando suffer during a performance of "A Streetcare Named Desire"?

Bored during a backstage moment, Brando started a fight with a stagehand who had boxing experience. The man broke Brando's nose, which healed a bit crooked, giving the actor a distinct look.

In how many movies did Brando appear before nabbing his first Academy Award nomination?

Brando appeared in just two films before receiving a Best Actor nomination for his performance in "A Streetcar Named Desire." He didn't win.

Brando refused to memorize his lines for films.

He thought memorization was the bane of real acting. Instead, Brando created cue cards and left them on set -- he used these cards to improvise lines. This habit drove some directors nuts.

How was Brando's film career going when he landed a role in "The Godfather"?

The 60s were unkind to Brando. His movies didn't fare well at the box office or with critics. "The Godfather" totally reversed his fortunes.

Which physical problem afflicted Brando throughout his adult life?

Brando's weight shot up during his life as he ate to combat stress. At one point he weighed more than 300 pounds, a fact that took a toll on his quality of life.

Brando landed his first movie role in 1950. When did he perform his last stage role?

Movies essentially ended Brando's stage career. He appeared in his last play in 1953's "Arms and the Man."

Who directed "The Godfather," the film that would make Brando a star for the ages?

Francis Ford Coppola took the helm for "The Godfather" and turned it into a masterpiece. Multiple other directors turned down the film before Coppola was offered the gig.

Who else starred in "The Godfather"?

Al Pacino joined Brando in this epic movie, which portrayed the pair as New York gangsters. The $7 million movie grossed nearly $250 million at the box office.

Brando was biological father to at least how many children?

He fathered at least 13 children. A rollercoaster personal life meant Brando went through many relationships … as well as three marriages that ended in divorce.

Brando played a character known as Col. Kurtz in which film?

In "Apocalypse Now," Brando was Kurtz, an unhinged colonel who goes mad during the Vietnam War. Brando played the part to disturbing perfection.

Why did Brando decline to accept a Best Actor award for his role in "The Godfather"?

Brando frequently shared his views on social issues, and in this case he was upset that Native Americans were constantly portrayed in negative ways in Hollywood films.

Brando was nominated for a whopping eight Academy Awards. How many did he actually win?

Few actors have ever received this kind of acclaim. Brando won two Oscars, both for Best Actor. When he was hot, he was one of the most unforgettable actors ever to grace a screen.

Which of the following films did NOT result in an Academy Award win for Brando?

"Viva Zapata!" earned him a nomination, but Brando didn't win that year. His last nomination came in 1990 for "A Dry White Season."

Brando became fabulously wealthy during his career, a fact that allowed him to buy what?

During filming for "Mutiny on the Bounty," Brando was enraptured by the Tahiti area. He bought an atoll named Tetiaroa, which is now home to a resort that bears his name.

For one movie, Brando played the father of which superhero?

In 1978, Brando played Jor-El, Superman's biological father. After the movie became a hit, Brando sued the studio for millions of dollars, feeling as though he'd missed out on the film's enormous profits. He won the lawsuit.

As shooting for "Superman" began, Brando learned that he was not allowed entry into Italy, which is where much of the filming was scheduled to happen. Why was he denied entry?

Brando's role in the sexually-explicit "Last Tango in Paris" resulted in an obscenity charge -- the Italians didn't want him back in their country.

Why did producers cut Brando's scenes from "Superman II"?

The producers were angry that Brando sued the studio for more money after the success of "Superman," so they cut his parts (which he'd filmed early) from "Superman II."

How did he die?

Brando's heart gave out, but his health in general was terrible. When he died, he had liver cancer, too.

What was the name of Brando's last film?

His last film role came in 2001's "The Score," which also starred Robert De Niro, Edward Norton and Angela Bassett. The film did well with critics and at the box office, meaning Brando went out with one last successful role.

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