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Last Updated: Friday, 2 July, 2004, 22:07 GMT 23:07 UK
Hollywood remembers Brando

By Peter Bowes
in Hollywood

Hollywood has been paying tribute to screen legend Marlon Brando who has passed away at the age of 80.

According to a spokeswoman for the UCLA Medical Centre in Los Angeles, he died of lung failure.

Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh
He was famed for his role in A Streetcar Named Desire
But those close to the star have been reluctant to elaborate on the cause of death, citing their respect of Brando's long-time desire for privacy.

Funeral arrangements have not been disclosed and the service is expected to be a private affair.

The iconic star, who will be remembered as much for his turbulent private life as his work on the silver screen, was loved and admired by many.

Within minutes of the official announcement of Brando's death, fans had gathered at the spot of Hollywood's Walk of Fame where flowers were laid on the actor's star.

'A real man's man'

One fan said: "There are just no actors like him anymore, he is one of the classics. He's like a real man's man, I don't think we'll be able to replace him."

"He was a wonderful actor - when I saw him in Apocalypse Now he really got into his character and it was amazing how he made the character come alive," added another fan.

Many of those who turned out to pay their respects were aspiring actors. Brando was seen as the ultimate mentor and an inspiration to people starting out in the business.

Robert Duvall, who starred alongside Brando in The Godfather, acknowledged his ability to inspire young actors.

Marlon Brando
He had enormous positive influence on younger performers. His memory will live forever
Robert Duvall
He said: "He was like a godfather to many young actors worldwide but particularly in this country.

"He had enormous positive influence on younger performers. His memory will live forever."

Actor James Cromwell learned of Brando's death as he was riding his bike close to the star's Hollywood home.

He said the world had lost a stage and screen legend: "Marlon looked not only like he came off the street but he happened to be as beautiful as a god. It was quite a combination."

While tributes have been pouring in from around the world, Francis Ford Coppola, who directed The Godfather, said: "Marlon would hate the idea of people chiming in to give their comments about his death.

An overweight Marlon Brando
His weight gain in later life was well-documented
"All I'll say is that it makes me sad he's gone."

Most of Brando's friends and colleagues have respected his desire for little fuss at the time of his passing, limiting their comments to a few words.

"He was a great actor. We all loved him and I'll really miss him," said Robert De Niro.

Elizabeth Taylor said: "I will miss him beyond belief."

'A hell-raiser'

"America has lost its leading film star. He was the best. As far as I'm concerned, he was also a very good friend. The world will miss him," said James Garner.

Brando had a formidable reputation as a hell-raiser. He was known for his disruptive influence on the set and in latter year developed a reputation as a lazy actor. He used cue cards and even an ear-piece as tools to help him remember his lines.

"He could be rude, crude and whatever else he felt like at the moment both on and off the set and that was part of his appeal," said James Parish, author of Hollywood Bad Boys.

Marlon Brando as Don Corleone in The Godfather
His role in The Godfather has become legendary
"As he got fatter and fatter in his declining years it was harder and harder to cast him and he remained temperamental to the end," he added.

Brando perfected the art of so-called method acting - using a free-form, emotionally inspired way of performing rather than a formal technique.

"Professionally his biggest plus was that he brought a very naturalist style to acting that had long been missing in the profession.," said Mr Parish.

"When he appeared in A Streetcar Named Desire he really sizzled audiences by his very dynamic performance," he said.




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