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November 9, 2019

A Young and Charismatic Brando From the 1940s and 1950s

After his Broadway breakthrough in the 1946 play Truckline Cafe, Marlon Brando would later gain triumph for his astonishing performance in Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire in 1947. By 1949, Brando, 25 years old, was ready to leave the Broadway stage behind to answer the call of Hollywood. Following his movie debut as a paraplegic veteran in The Men (1950), Brando would receive numerous acclaims and accolades for A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Viva Zapata! (1952), Julius Caesar (1953), The Wild One (1953), On the Waterfront (for which he won his first Oscar, 1954) and Sayonara (1957). Let’s take a look back at a young, charismatic and ridiculously handsome Marlon Brando during the 1940s and 1950s:

April 1946. Marlon Brando wearing a large double-breasted overcoat. Photo by Cecil Beaton for Vogue.

August 1946. Photo by Cecil Beaton for Vogue.

1947. Young Marlon Brando lighting a cigarette. Photo by Bettmann.

February 1948. Marlon Brando wearing a sweater and button down shirt, leaning on his elbows. Photo by Serge Balkin.

1948. Marlon Brando playing recorder. Photo by Lisa Larsen for LIFE.

December 1948. Marlon Brando performing on Broadway in the role of Stanley Kowalski in 'A Streetcar Named Desire.' Photo by Carl Van Vechten.

December 1948. Portrait of Marlon Brando in the Broadway version of 'A Streetcar Named Desire.' Photo by Carl Van Vechten.

1949. Marlon Brando sitting down reading a book outside the Hospital Chapel during training for his role in 'The Men'. Photo by Bettmann.

October 1949. Marlon Brando smokes a cigarette as he reads a script during rehearsals for his role in 'The Men,' Los Angeles, California. Photo by Ed Clark for LIFE.

1950s. Head and shoulders photo of young Marlon Brando staring intentily. Photo by Corbis.

1950s. Photo by Gamma-Rapho.

1952. Photo by Margaret Bourke-White for LIFE.

1952. Marlon Brando standing in front of a bookcase. Photo via John Kobal Foundation.

1951. Marlon Brando wardrobe test for 'A Streetcar Named Desire.' Photo by Corbis.

1951. Marlon Brando in 'A Streetcar Named Desire.' Photo by Herbert Dorfman.

1952. Marlon Brando as Mexican folk hero Emiliano Zapata in 'Viva Zapata!'. Photo by Hulton Archive.

1953. Marlon Brando riding a motorcycle in 'The Wild One.' Photo by Mondadori Portfolio.

1954. Marlon Brando, wearing dirty white pants, a cap, and no shirt, poses atop scaffolding. Photo by Getty Images.

1954. Marlon Brando on the set of 'On the Waterfront.' Photo by Columbia Pictures.

1954. Marlon Brando leans back on a sofa and smiles at a cat, who lays across his shoulders, at his home in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Murray Garrett.

1954. Marlon Brando on the set of 'Desiree.' Photo by Corbis.

November 1954. Marlon Brando, wearing glasses, playing harmonica on a train while in Rome, Italy. Photo by Simon Michou.

April 1955. Marlon Brando playing a conga drum at his home for an episode of the CBS program 'Person to Person.' Photo by Silver Screen Collection.

June 1957. Marlon Brando in Paris, where he met Irwin Shaw, author of 'The Young Lions.' Photo by Simon Michou.

1958. Marlon Brando poses for a portrait on the set of 'The Young Lions.' Photo by Universal Pictures.

1959. Marlon Brando during the filming of 'One-Eyed Jacks' in Death Valley, California. Photo by Sam Shaw.


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