Marlon Brando is a Hollywood legend, but he developed a reputation later in life for being lazy and unprepared during film shoots. Susan L. Mizruchi, the author of Brando's Smile: His Life, Thought, and Work, debunked that rumor in a recent HuffPost blog, and she stopped by HuffPost Live to share more little-known stories about the film icon.
Mizruchi told host Ricky Camilleri that despite legend to the contrary, Brando was committed to his work until his final days.
"Brando never gave up on acting. He acted almost until the day he died. He was on an oxygen machine because he was dying of a lung illness. The month before he died he was recording the voice of an animated character," she said.
That character was an old woman named Mrs. Sour in a movie called "Big Bug Man," which was never released. Voicing the character was a final opportunity for Brando to showcase both his eccentricities and his commitment to the craft. To truly inhabit the character, Mizruchi said Brando donned women's clothes and a wig.
"Brando did dress up to do the animation. He felt in order to record the voice well ... and be the character the way he wanted to be, he dressed up as Mrs. Sour," she said.
The film's writer and co-director Bob Bendetson has shared his own experience of Brando's unique approach.
"He was gorgeous," Bendetson said in 2004. "I guess it was part of his Method training or something, where you almost embarrass yourself as the character, so that way you're free to be the character. ... About halfway through he took off the wig because he was getting too hot."
Mizruchi told HuffPost Live that researching her biography turned up evidence of Brando's interest in the concept of gender.
"He loved [Carl] Jung, and he was fascinated by the feminine side of men and the masculine side of women and the sort of mix of gender identities," she said.
Catch the full HuffPost Live conversation below.