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Before moving to New York to study acting, Marlon Brando was expelled from high school because he rode a motorcycle through the halls

Domagoj Valjak

Marlon Brando was undoubtedly one of the greatest film actors of all time. His career included starring roles in numerous acclaimed films, including A Streetcar Named Desire, Last Tango in Paris, Apocalypse Now, The Godfather, and many others.

He is also praised for bringing realism to the movie screen, and he was an avid activist for the African-American Civil Rights Movement and several Native American movements.

A portrait of Marlon Brando. Photo Credit

A portrait of Marlon Brando. Photo Credit

Brando’s early life was turbulent. His mother was an alcoholic who often was kicked out of Chicago bars, and his father constantly disregarded his achievements. He first demonstrated his acting talents when he imitated his childhood friends and various farm animals in order to distract his mother from drinking.

Brando attended the Libertyville High School in Libertyville, the northern suburb of Chicago. Although he was an excellent and intelligent student, he was a troubled adolescent known for occasional violent outbursts. A fan of motorcycles, he was expelled from high school for riding his motorcycle through the school hallways.

After this, he attended the Shattuck Military Academy but dropped out after disobeying the orders of a visiting army colonel. This proved to be a turning point in Brando’s life because he finally decided to pursue a career in acting, which had always been his primary interest.

Madame Tussauds waxwork exhibit of Brando in The Wild One with a Triumph Thunderbird motorcycle. Photo Credit

Madame Tussauds waxwork exhibit of Brando in The Wild One with a Triumph Thunderbird motorcycle. Photo Credit

He joined his older sisters Frances and Jocelyn in New York City and began studying acting at the American Theatre Wing Professional School.

Brando as Emiliano Zapata in a trailer for the 1952 film Viva Zapata!.

Brando as Emiliano Zapata in a trailer for the 1952 film Viva Zapata!.

His drama studies were responsible for Brando’s famous on-screen delivery and unparalleled realism in acting. This was because he was a student of the famous actor and drama teacher Stella Adler, who introduced Brando to the Stanislavski approach to acting and theatrical theory.

The Stanislavski method urges actors to explore the surroundings and backgrounds of the characters they are playing, as well as to immerse themselves into the minds of characters and mimic their way of thinking. The purpose of this is the creation of strong characters that are indistinguishable from real-life people. The realism brings the feeling of catharsis for both the actors and the audience and is an important element of both film and theater theory.

A 24-year-old Marlon Brando on the set of the Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire, 1948.

A 24-year-old Marlon Brando on the set of the Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire, 1948.

Brando’s exceptional acting performance developed with his in-depth exploration of the Stanislavski method. His fabulous success proves that troubled childhood and unfavorable circumstance can be overcome in one’s personal and social development.

Read another story from us: James Cromwell, the actor who played Farmer Hoggett in “Babe,” became a vegan and outspoken animal advocate because of the movie

They can sometimes be a driving force behind artistic inspiration and pursuit of happiness.