The three-time Oscar winning-actor calls Brando one of the great men of the 20th and 21st centuries, comparing him with the late artist Pablo Picasso.
"This man has been my idol all of my professional life, and I don't think I'm alone in that," writes Nicholson. "Other actors don't go around discussing who is the best actor in the world because it's obvious -- Marlon Brando is."
Nicholson said when he was working with Brando on "The Missouri Breaks" -- the only project they made together -- he had an attack of insecurity after watching dailies of Brando's work.
"I thought, 'What if they decide to hang me for being so crazy as to think I could be in the same country with this guy, much less in the same movie?' " Nicholson said. "Our director, Arthur Penn, really had to nurse me back to health just to get me to continue on with the picture."