Veteran actor Kirk Douglas has paid tribute to his longtime friend Karl Malden, who passed away on Wednesday (01Jul09) - insisting no one knew him as well as the Oscar winner.
Douglas and Malden met as youngsters at college and struck up a firm friendship which lasted for over 70 years.
The movie legend was delighted when his son Michael was cast alongside Malden in TV cop drama The Streets of San Francisco in the early 1970s, because he felt the youngster's career would benefit greatly from working with such an established actor.
And now the Douglas family are in mourning for their great friend.
In a post on his MySpace.com blog, Douglas writes, "Nobody knew me as long as Karl Malden knew me. I first met him when I worked with him doing summer stock (theatre) during college vacation.
"Karl and (his wife) Mona are great people; we started a friendship that continued for 70 years.
"I learned a lot from Karl and so did my son Michael. When he got the part in the TV series Streets of San Francisco I said to my son, 'You are lucky. You will learn a lot from Karl.' And he did. Karl took Michael under his wing and they had a fantastic relationship for four years, which continued to this day."