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Jul. 1 2009 - 7:56 pm | 10 views | 1 recommendation | 3 comments

Karl Malden, another good man down, but not his good name

Cropped screenshot of Karl Malden from the tra...

Image via Wikipedia

Don’t rely on Wikipedia the academics warn, but this, from Wikipedia, is one of the most endearing things I’ve found on the late, great Karl Malden today.

Just as Al Hirshfeld buried the name Nina in his illustrations out of love for her, and just as Tallulah Bankhead regularly put on a phonograph and played a Louis Armstrong recording during her Broadway plays out of love for Louis, Malden, come to find out, repeatedly insinuated his real Czech/Serbian name — Sekulovich –  into his scripts.  Here’s the list, and may his stage name forever “turn up” in the performing arts:

Malden often found ways to say “Sekulovich” in films and television shows in which he appears. For example, as General Omar Bradley in Patton, as his troops slog their way through enemy fire in Sicily, Malden says “Hand me that helmet, Sekulovich” to another soldier. In Dead Ringer, as a police detective in the squad room, Malden tells another detective: “Sekulovich, gimme my hat.” In Fear Strikes Out, Malden, playing Jimmy Piersall’s father John, introduces Jimmy to a baseball scout named Sekulovich. In Birdman of Alcatraz, as a prison warden touring the cell block, Malden recites a list of inmates’ names, including Sekulovich. Malden’s father was not pleased, as he told his son ‘Mladen, no Sekulovich has ever been in prison!’ Perhaps the most notable usage of his real name was in the TV series The Streets of San Francisco. Malden’s character in the program, Mike Stone, employed a legman (played by Art Metrano) with that name, who did various errands. Also, in On the Waterfront, in which Malden plays the priest, among the names of the officers of Local 374 called out in the courtroom scene is Mladen Sekulovich, Delegate.

via Karl Malden – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


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  1. collapse expand

    Like most great character actors, under appreciated by the public and loved by directors and fellow actors because he was a challenge and could steal the scene from the best of them, constantly working since the forties he never put in a bad performance. We have lost a great one but his art lives on.

  2. collapse expand

    Brian and Lib, Thanks for your comments. Here’s another — the signature nose got to be that way due to two basketball injuries in college.

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