Marlon Brando Jr. was an American actor, director, and activist. He was known for his Academy Award winning performances of Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront and Vito Corleone in The Godfather. His role of Vito Corleone served as inspiration for Mr. Big in Zootopia.
He directed and starred in the cult western film One-Eyed Jacks, after which he delivered a series of box-office failures, beginning with the 1962 film adaptation of the novel Mutiny on the Bounty. After 10 years, he won his second Academy Award for playing Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, a role critics consider among his greatest. The Godfather was then one of the most commercially successful films of all time.
With that and his Oscar-nominated performance in Last Tango in Paris, Brando re-established himself in the ranks of top box-office stars, placing sixth and tenth in the Money Making Stars poll in 1972 and 1973, respectively. Brando took a four-year hiatus before appearing in The Missouri Breaks (1976).
After this, he was content with being a highly paid character actor in cameo roles, such as in Superman (1978) and The Formula (1980), before taking a nine-year break from motion pictures. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Brando was paid a record $3.7 million and 11.75% of the gross profits for 13 days' work on Superman.
He finished out the 1970s with his controversial performance as Colonel Kurtz in another Coppola film, Apocalypse Now, a box-office hit for which he was highly paid and which helped finance his career layoff during the 1980s.
Brando was ranked by the American Film Institute as the fourth-greatest movie star among male movie stars whose screen debuts occurred in or before 1950. He died of respiratory failure in 2004 at age 80.