Stories from the UN Archive: Marlon Brando, the UN’s first frontman for water


The Oscar-winning actor helped the UN amplify the need for clean water in a South American village in a unique podcast (even before they were called podcasts) almost 70 years ago.

The Hollywood legend memorably narrated The Well of Happiness in 1956, following a UN-led project in the South American country long before the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development call for clean water and sanitation for all.

The star of On the Waterfront and Apocalypse Now was part of a growing number of celebrities to help the UN highlight needs across the world.

Listen to UN NewsPodcast Classics episode featuring Mr. Brando here, part of the UN News #ThrowbackThursday series showcasing pivotal moments across the UN’s past. From the infamous and nearly-forgotten to world leaders and global superstars, stay tuned for a taste of the UN Audiovisual Library’s 49,400 hours of video recordings and 18,000 hours of audio chronicling.

Visit our Podcast Classics series here and UN Video’s Stories from the UN Archive playlist here. Join us next Thursday for another dive into history.

© UNICEF/Pirozzi

Two small children wash their hands with soap at a hand-washing station at the Sayariy Warmi early childhood development centre in Sucre, Bolivia.

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