He’s Not Dead — And We’re Glad!

280px-karl_malden_in_i_confess_trailerYesterday, Karl Malden turned 97. To be honest, I had no idea he was still alive, having assumed he’d long ago gone to that great American Express office in the sky. (For the younguns, Malden did a series of AE traveler’s checks commercials — remember traveler’s checks? — in the 1970s and 1980s, with the famous tag line: “Don’t leave home without them.”) But, as I once did with Burl Ives, whose crowning screen role was also in a Tennessee Williams-spawned movie (“Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” for Ives; “A Streetcar Named Desire” for Malden), I have made the mistaken assumption that Malden had long since passed on to his reward. But no: he is still there, magnificent bulbous nose in place, the oldest living actor to have won a Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor Oscar. (Luise Rainer, 99, is the oldest living actress, as well as the oldest living recipient of a non-honorary Academy Award.) Again, Happy 97th, Karl!

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