Marlon Brando Jr. (April 3, 1924 – July 1, 2004) was an American actor and film director. With a career spanning 60 years, he is well-regarded for his cultural influence on 20th-century film. Brando won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performances in On the Waterfront (1954) and The Godfather (1972). Brando was an activist for many causes, notably the civil rights movement and various Native American movements. Having studied with Stella Adler in the 1940s, he is credited with being one of the first actors to bring the Stanislavski system of acting and Method Acting, derived from the Stanislavski system, to mainstream audiences.