Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American actor, film director, and activist. He is hailed for bringing a gripping realism to film acting, and is frequently cited as the greatest and most influential film actor of all time. A cultural icon, Brando is most famous for his Academy Award-winning performances as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront and Vito Corleone in The Godfather, as well as influential performances in A Streetcar Named Desire, Viva Zapata!, Julius Caesar, The Wild One, Reflections in a Golden Eye, Last Tango in Paris and Apocalypse Now. Brando was also an activist, supporting many causes, notably the African-American Civil Rights Movement and various American Indian Movements.
He initially gained acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for reprising the role of Stanley Kowalski in the 1951 film adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire, which made him a Broadway star during its 1947–49 stage run. He received further acclaim for his performance as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront, and for his iconic portrayal of the rebel motorcycle gang leader Johnny Strabler in The Wild One, considered to be one of the most famous images in pop culture.