Marlon Brando Dies
On July 1, 2004, Brando died, aged 80.
The cause of death was intentionally withheld, his lawyer citing privacy concerns. It was later revealed that he had died at UCLA Medical Center of respiratory failure brought on by pulmonary fibrosis. He also suffered from congestive heart failure, failing eyesight due to diabetes, and liver cancer.
Karl Malden, Brando's fellow actor in A Streetcar Named Desire, On The Waterfront, and One Eyed Jacks (the only film directed by Brando), talks in a documentary accompanying the DVD of A Streetcar Named Desire about a phone call he received from Brando shortly before Brando's death. A distressed Brando told Malden he kept falling over. Malden wanted to come over, but Brando put him off telling him there was no point. Three weeks later, Brando was dead. Shortly before his death, Brando had apparently refused permission for tubes carrying oxygen to be inserted into his lungs, which, he was told, was the only way to prolong his life.
Brando was cremated, and his ashes, after being mingled together with those of Wally Cox, were scattered partly in Tahiti and partly in Death Valley.
In 2007, a 165-minute biopic of Brando, Brando: The Documentary, produced by Mike Medavoy (the executor of Brando's will) for Turner Classic Movies, was released.
A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1951 film adaptation of the play of the same name by Tennessee Williams. It was directed by Elia Kazan, who had also directed the original stage production, and stars Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter and Karl Malden; all but Leigh were chosen from the Broadway cast of the play, while Leigh had starred in the London West End production. It was produced by talent agent and lawyer Charles K. Feldman, and released by Warner Bros. The screenplay was written by Williams himself, but had many revisions to remove references to homosexuality, among other things.