A young Marlon Brando lived through the Great Depression. An elderly Brando lived to see the iPod released. One wouldn’t expect this, but the politically active Superman star became something of an online troll in his twilight years.
Always Getting In Trouble
It’s fascinating to think of how the Hollywood legend would have acclimated to social media. Brando was notoriously hard to work with and always unapologetically politically active. Brando attended the 1963 March on Washington alongside James Baldwin and Harry Belafonte. When Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, he dropped out of The Arrangement so he could focus on civil rights activism.
Perhaps his most famous political moment came in 1973. A shoo-in to win Best Actor at the Academy Awards, Brando sent Sacheen Littlefeather in his stead to accept the award and call out Hollywood over its mistreatment of Native Americans. John Wayne was so incensed that he had to be held back from striking her.
Sued For Libel
Brando’s activism brushed up against law enforcement. He spoke at 17-year-old Bobby Hutton’s funeral, calling out the Oakland police for its role in the Black Panther’s murder. He was subsequently sued for libel by the OPOA, but it appears he won in court.
An Online Troll
Flash forward a few decades, and suddenly Brando is technologically savvy and taking his politics to the internet. As told in William Mann’s biography The Contender, Brando loved AOL chatrooms. He was an early adopter of the internet and loved spending hours in political arguments with strangers.
He was such a pest, in fact, that Brando would frequently get his accounts suspended. Why? For telling strangers to “F*ck off.” This story is corroborated by columnist Amy Alkon, who tweeted that she befriended Brando through AOL.
He Liked Video Games Too
It’s so strange imagining Brando, a figure from the 1950s, being interested in online chatrooms and video games, yet he was. Brando’s final acting performance came in The Godfather video game. He was said to be fascinated by the technology and recorded his audio from his own home.
Sadly, Brando was in such bad shape that he needed to be on oxygen. The machine-made his voice recordings practically unusable. All that remains in the game itself is a haunting monologue from a hospital bed.
Knowing Brando was active on AOL means he would probably have been sending catty tweets on an hourly basis. This just goes to show you never really know who anyone is on the internet; some random expletive spewing instant messenger could have been Brando himself.