Marlon Brando passes away in a Los Angeles hospital at age 80 of pulmonary fibrosis. Brando's funeral is as private as much of the actor's later years. An actor's actor, Brando brought remarkable charisma to his roles in a host of memorable films, including "On the Waterfront," "A Streetcar Named Desire," "Apocalypse Now," "The Godfather" and many others. The actor led a tragic private life and spent most of his latter years out of the spotlight. All three of his wives were pregnant when they exchanged wedding vows with him, and his son, Christian, was convicted for killing the boyfriend of his half-sister, Cheyenne, in 1990. Cheyenne would commit suicide five years later after a constant struggle with depression over the tragedy. Christian was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Brando was once quoted as saying, "Hollywood is ruled by fear and love of money, but it can't rule me because I'm not afraid of anything and I don't love money."
The United States celebrates its independence from British rule on July 4th. The Fourth of July weekend is the first real summer blowout and Americans enjoy barbecues, pool parties, baseball and blockbuster movie releases, including "The Bourne Supremacy," "Maria Full of Grace," " Door in the Floor," "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle" and "Before Sunset."
American cyclist Lance Armstrong wins his sixth Tour de France title on April 25th riding for the US Postal Service team. Armstrong outdoes the five Tour victories of cycling legends Eddy Mercks, Jacques Anquetil, Bernard Hinault and Miguel Indurain. The Tour de France is among the world's most challenging athletic events as it combines climbing, time trial speed and marathon endurance skills in one event. Even more remarkable is Armstrong's recovery from cancer in 1996.
Roger Frederer and Maria Sharapova win titles for singles at Wimbledon on July 4th.
Here are some links for July:
BBC Sport: Wimbledon 2004
- Provides an outline of the tennis tournament. Includes multimedia clips, photos, trivia and in-depth reports about the winners.