Montgomery Clift and Marlon Brando
Photographed by Irving Lippman during the filming of From Here to Eternity, 1953
Exclusively for Port, celebrated author Joyce Carol Oates pens an Open Letter to the legendary award winning actor
Because in 1955 at the age of 31, after having won an Academy Award for On the Waterfront, you were interviewed by Edward R Murrow wreathed in cigarette smoke like a shroud and in your rented stucco house in the hills above Los Angeles already you were speaking of trying to be “normal”. Because you endured the interviewer’s lame questions – “Have you discovered that success can have its own problems?” – “Are you planning a long career as an actor?”
Because you conceded, “I can’t do anything else well.”
Because you said you wanted to sing and dance on screen, you wanted to be “superficial” – you wanted to “entertain.”
Because on the mantel of the rented house was a portrait of your mother at 40, your alcoholic mother who’d failed to love you enough.