Thursday, July 02, 2009

Everyman Overboard

It's probably a sign of how old I am that the death of Karl Malden (dead today at the age of 97) hit me harder than the death of Michael Jackson. There's no doubt that the latter was more famous by a few orders of magnitude, and more talented by the same factor.

But Malden was more a part of my life. I learnt about car chases, interrogating suspects, figuring things out and being phlegmatic under pressure by watching him in The Streets of San Francisco. In that five-year TV series, he acted as Detective-Lieutenant Mike Stone, the senior partner to Inspector Keller, acted by Michael Douglas.

He actually did win an Oscar; like his Emmy, it was for being a great supporting actor. Here's to Karl Malden, an everyman who taught us nameless people how to be supporting actors!

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