He died July 1 at a Los Angeles hospital, according to his lawyer. No cause of death was immediately given.
On stage, Mr. Brando memorably played the brutish Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, repeating his work on film. His much revered, much-parodied and much-copied mumbly, brooding style would be seen on film for the next four decades.
His credits include the films "Guys and Dolls," "The Godfather," "Superman," "Apocalypse Now," "Last Tango in Paris" and "On the Waterfront," among many others.
The Omaha native made his Broadway debut as Nels in I Remember Mama in 1944. Influenced by those he studied with in New York at the Actors Studio (Stella Adler) and the New School for Social Research (Erwin Piscator) he would later be considered by many as the greatest actor of the 20th century.
An early bio states that he made his stage debut playing a Giraffe in a staging of Bobino for The American Theatre for Young Folks in New York City. He acted in summer stock before Broadway. In 1946 Mr. Brando won a Theatre World Award. His Broadway appearances in Candida, Truckline Cafe and Ben Hecht's A Flag Is Born preceded his breakout performance as frustrated Stanley Kowalski, who shatters his fragile sister in law, Blanche DuBois (played by Jessica Tandy on stage) in Williams' Streetcar, in 1947.
The 1951 film version of Streetcar, controversial for its domestic violence and sexuality, exposed Brando to a wider audience. He was Oscar nominated for his performance. Few fans of film and pop culture are unaware of his famous "Stella!" scream from the motion picture: In filthy t-shirt and covered with sweat, he howls to his wife, who has locked herself away. His imploring screams earn him entry — Stella, nor no one else, could seem to resist this charismatic, indelible personality. The character and actor would become a legend.
Mr. Brando abandoned the theatre for Hollywood by the 1950s, earning press for his on screen work and off screen personality.
The actor won Academy Awards for Best Actor for "The Godfather" (in which he played Don Corleone, a mafia boss) in 1972 and "On the Waterfront" in 1954. To pick up his Oscar in 1972, he sent "Sacheen Littlefeather," who refused the award on Mr. Brando's behalf, denouncing Hollywood's treatment of Native Americans. She was booed by some of the crowd.
Among Mr. Brando's other films are "Don Juan DeMarco," "The Island of Dr. Moreau," "Christophher Columbus: The Discovery," "The Freshman," "Mutiny on the Bounty" (as Fletcher Christian) "The Fugitive Kind," "The Young Lions," "Sayonara," "The Teahouse of the August Moon," "Desirée" (as Napoleon), "The Wild One," "Julius Caesar" (as Marc Antony), "Viva Zapata!" (as Emiliano Zapata). His film debut was in 1950's "The Men."
For his work in the TV miniseries "Roots: The Next Generations," he won an Emmy Award in 1978-79.