October 20, 2004

Oscar-winning movie veteran Karl Malden to be honoured

Veteran Oscar-winning US actor Karl Malden will receive a prestigious theatre award at a star-studded ceremony to be held next month, organisers announced.

Malden, 92, will receive the fifth annual Monte Cristo Award, bestowed by the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Connecticut, from superstar Michael Douglas at a gala banquet in Beverly Hills on November 11.

"Karl has been a true mentor to me," Douglas said in a statement. "His strong work ethic; his generosity of spirit; his enduring friendship and support have long guided me both professionally and personally."

A galaxy of stars will turn out to honour the grand old man of stage and screen, including Kirk Douglas, Danny DeVito, Martin Landau and Matthew Broderick.

The annual Monte Cristo Award is bestowed on an artist whose work best exemplifies the excellence and pioneering spirit of the famed, Nobel Prize-winning American playwright Eugene O'Neill.

Previous recipients include actor Jason Robards, playwright Edward Albee, Zoe Caldwell and actor Brian Dennehy.

"You couldn't get any luckier than to be in one of (O'Neill's) plays," Malden said. I was in one of them, "Desire Under The Elms'. It was an honor to play in that show."

Malden won the best supporting actor Academy Award in 1952 for his role opposite screen legend Marlon Brando in "A Streetcar Named Desire."

He played a tough detective in the 1972-76 US television series "The Streets of San Francisco," opposite an up-and-coming young Michael Douglas.

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