Birth name Marlon Brando, Junior NationalityUSA Birth 3 april 1924 at Omaha (USA) Death 1 july 2004 (at 80 years) at Los Angeles (USA) Awards Academy Award for Best Actor
Marlon Brando, Jr. (April 3, 1924 – July 1, 2004) was an American actor, film director, and activist. He is credited with helping to popularize the Stanislavski system of acting. A cultural icon, Brando is most famous for his Academy Award-winning performances as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (1954) and Vito Corleone in The Godfather (1972), as well as influential performances in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), Viva Zapata! (1952), Julius Caesar (1953), The Wild One (1953), Reflections in a Golden Eye (1967), Last Tango in Paris (1972) and Apocalypse Now (1979). Brando was also an activist, supporting many causes, notably the African-American Civil Rights Movement and various American Indian Movements.
He initially gained acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for reprising the role of Stanley Kowalski in the 1951 film adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire, a role which he had originated successfully on Broadway. He received further praise for his performance as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (1954), and his portrayal of the rebel motorcycle gang leader Johnny Strabler in The Wild One (1953) proved to be a lasting image in popular culture. Brando was nominated for the Academy Award for playing Emiliano Zapata in Viva Zapata!; Mark Antony in Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1953 film adaptation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar; and as Air Force Major Lloyd Gruver in Sayonara (1957), an adaption of James Michener's 1954 novel. Brando was included in a list of Top Ten Money Making Stars three times in the decade, coming in at number 10 in 1954, number 6 in 1955, and number 4 in 1958.
The 1960s proved to be a fallow decade for Brando. He directed and starred in the cult western film One-Eyed Jacks, a critical and commercial flop, after which he delivered a series of box-office failures, beginning with the 1962 film adaptation of the novel Mutiny on the Bounty. After 10 years, during which he did not appear in a successful film, he won his second Academy Award for playing Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, a role critics consider among his greatest. The Godfather was then one of the most commercially successful films of all time. Together with his Oscar-nominated performance in Last Tango in Paris, Brando became re-established in the ranks of top box-office stars, placing him at number 6 and number 10 in Top 10 Money Making Stars poll in 1972 and 1973, respectively. Brando took a four-year hiatus before appearing in The Missouri Breaks (1976). After this, he was content with being a highly paid character actor in parts that were glorified cameos, such as in Superman (1978) and The Formula (1980), before taking a nine-year break from motion pictures. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Brando was paid a record $3.7 million ($14 million in inflation-adjusted dollars) and 11.75% of the gross profits for 13 days work on Superman. He finished out the decade of the 1970s with his controversial performance as Colonel Kurtz in another Coppola film, Apocalypse Now, a box-office hit for which he was highly paid and which helped finance his career layoff during the 1980s.
Brando was ranked by the American Film Institute as the fourth-greatest actor among male movie stars whose screen debuts occurred in or before 1950. Brando was one of only three professional actors, along with Sir Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe, named in 1999 by Time magazine as one of its 100 Most Important People of the Century. He died on July 1, 2004 of respiratory failure at 80.
By Anna Kashfi
Christian Brando (1958–2008)
By Movita Castaneda
Miko Brando (born 1961)
Rebecca Brando (born 1966)
By Tarita Teriipaia
Simon Teihotu Brando (born 1963)
Tarita Cheyenne Brando (1970–1995)
By Paula Fox
Linda Carroll (born 1944)
By Maria Christina Ruiz
Ninna Priscilla Brando (born 1989)
Myles Jonathan Brando (born 1992)
Timothy Gahan Brando (born 1994)
By unidentified women:
Stephen Blackehart (born 1967)
Michael Gregor Gilman (born 1967)
Dylan Brando (1968–1988)
Angelique Brando (unknown)
Petra Brando-Corval (born 1972)
Maimiti Brando (born 1977)
Raiatua Brando (born 1982)
Marlon Brando was known for his tumultuous personal life and his large number of wives, girlfriends and children. He was the father to sixteen known children, three of whom were adopted. Some sources claim he fathered as many as 17 children or more.
In Songs My Mother Taught Me, Brando claimed he met Marilyn Monroe at a party where she played piano, unnoticed by anybody else there, and they had an affair and maintained an intermittent relationship for many years, receiving a telephone call from her several days before she died. He also claimed numerous other romances, although he did not discuss his marriages, his wives, or his children in his autobiography. As a young man he was a family friend of Stella Adler's, whose daughter Ellen was a roommate of novelist Paula Fox. For a while, Brando and Fox lived under one roof and became close. Brando may have been the father of Fox's first child, daughter Linda Carroll who was born in 1944. Linda was given up for adoption and is the mother of Courtney Love. Fox never named the child's father or addressed the affair.
Brando married actress Anna Kashfi in 1957. Kashfi was born in Calcutta and moved to Wales from India in 1947. She is said to have been the daughter of a Welsh steel worker of Irish descent, William O'Callaghan, who had been superintendent on the Indian State railways. However, in her book, Brando for Breakfast, she claimed that she really is half Indian and that the press incorrectly thought that her stepfather, O'Callaghan, was her real father. She said her real father was Indian and that she was the result of an "unregistered alliance" between her parents. Brando and Kashfi had a son, Christian Brando, on May 11, 1958; they divorced in 1959.
In 1960, Brando married Movita Castaneda, a Mexican-American actress seven years his senior; they were divorced in 1962. Castaneda had appeared in the first Mutiny on the Bounty film in 1935, some 27 years before the 1962 remake with Brando as Fletcher Christian. They had two children together: Miko Castaneda Brando (born 1961) and Rebecca Brando (born 1966).
Tahitian actress Tarita Teriipaia, who played his love interest in Mutiny on the Bounty, became Brando's third wife on August 10, 1962. She was 20 years old, 18 years younger than Brando, who was reportedly delighted by her naiveté. Because Teriipaia was a native French speaker, Brando became fluent in the language and gave numerous interviews in French. Teriipia became the mother of two of his children: Simon Teihotu Brando (born 1963) and Tarita Cheyenne Brando (born 1970). Brando also adopted Teriipia's daughter, Maimiti Brando (born 1977) and niece, Raiatua Brando (born 1982). Brando and Teriipia divorced in July 1972.
Brando had a long-term relationship with his housekeeper Maria Christina Ruiz, by whom he had three children: Ninna Priscilla Brando (born May 13, 1989), Myles Jonathan Brando (born January 16, 1992), and Timothy Gahan Brando (born January 6, 1994). He had five more children by unidentified women: Stephen Blackehart (born 1967), Michael Gregor Gilman (born 1967), who was adopted by Brando's longtime friend Sam Gilman, and Dylan Brando (1968–1988), Angelique Brando. Brando also adopted Petra Brando-Corval (born 1972), the daughter of his assistant Caroline Barrett and novelist James Clavell.
Brando's grandson Tuki Brando (born 1990), son of Cheyenne Brando, is a fashion model. His numerous grandchildren also include Michael Brando (born 1988), son of Christian Brando, Prudence Brando and Shane Brando, children of Miko C. Brando, the children of Rebecca Brando, the three children of Teihotu Brando and the children of Michael Gregor Gilman, among others.
Death of Dag Drollet
In May 1990, Dag Drollet, the Tahitian lover of Brando's daughter Cheyenne, died of a gunshot wound after a confrontation with Cheyenne's half-brother Christian at the family's hilltop home above Beverly Hills. Christian, then 31 years old, claimed he was drunk and the shooting was accidental. After heavily publicized pre-trial proceedings, Christian pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and use of a gun. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Before the sentence, Brando delivered an hour of testimony, in which he said he and his former wife had failed Christian. He commented softly to members of the Drollet family: "I'm sorry ... If I could trade places with Dag, I would. I'm prepared for the consequences." Afterward, Drollet's father, Jacques, said he thought Brando was acting and his son was "getting away with murder." The tragedy was compounded in 1995, when Cheyenne, suffering from lingering effects of a serious car accident and said to still be depressed over Drollet's death, committed suicide by hanging herself in Tahiti. Christian Brando died of pneumonia at age 49 on January 26, 2008.
Brando earned a "bad boy" reputation for his public outbursts and antics. According to Los Angeles magazine, "Brando was rock and roll before anybody knew what rock and roll was". His behavior during the filming of Mutiny on the Bounty (1962) seemed to bolster his reputation as a difficult star. He was blamed for a change in director and a runaway budget, though he disclaimed responsibility for either. On June 12, 1973, Brando broke paparazzo Ron Galella's jaw. Galella had followed Brando, who was accompanied by talk show host Dick Cavett, after a taping of The Dick Cavett Show in New York City. He reportedly paid a $40,000 out-of-court settlement and suffered an infected hand as a result. Galella wore a football helmet the next time he photographed Brando at a gala benefiting the American Indians Development Association.
Brando made the following comment about his sex life in an interview with Gary Carey, for his 1976 biography The Only Contender, "Homosexuality is so much in fashion it no longer makes news. Like a large number of men, I, too, have had homosexual experiences and I am not ashamed. I have never paid much attention to what people think about me. But if there is someone who is convinced that Jack Nicholson and I are lovers, may they continue to do so. I find it amusing."
The filming of Mutiny on the Bounty affected Brando's life in a profound way, as he fell in love with Tahiti and its people. He bought a 12-island atoll, Tetiaroa, and in 1970 hired an award-winning young Los Angeles architect Bernard Judge to build his home and natural village there without despoiling the environment. An environmental laboratory protecting sea birds and turtles was established and student groups welcomed there for many years. Tragically, the 1983 hurricane destroyed many of the structures including his resort. A hotel using Brando's name is currently under reconstruction under new ownership due to open in 2014. His son Simon is the only inhabitant of Tetiaroa. Brando was an active ham radio operator, with the call signs KE6PZH and FO5GJ (the latter from his island). He was listed in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) records as Martin Brandeaux to preserve his privacy.
In the A&E Biography episode on Brando, biographer Peter Manso comments, "On the one hand, being a celebrity allowed Marlon to take his revenge on the world that had so deeply hurt him, so deeply scarred him. On the other hand he hated it because he knew it was false and ephemeral." In the same program biographer David Thomson relates, "Many, many people who worked with him, and came to work with him with the best intentions, went away in despair saying he's a spoiled kid. It has to be done his way or he goes away with some vast story about how he was wronged, he was offended, and I think that fits with the psychological pattern that he was a wronged kid."
In 1946, Brando performed in Ben Hecht's Zionist play A Flag is Born. He attended some fundraisers for John F. Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election. In August 1963, he participated in the March on Washington along with fellow celebrities Harry Belafonte, James Garner, Charlton Heston, Burt Lancaster and Sidney Poitier. Along with Paul Newman, Brando also participated in the freedom rides.
In the aftermath of the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., Brando made one of the strongest commitments to furthering King's work. Shortly after King's death, he announced that he was bowing out of the lead role of a major film (The Arrangement) (1969) which was about to begin production in order to devote himself to the civil rights movement. "I felt I'd better go find out where it is; what it is to be black in this country; what this rage is all about," Brando said on the late-night ABC-TV talk show Joey Bishop Show. In A&E's Biography episode on Brando actor and co-star Martin Sheen states, "I'll never forget the night that Reverend King was shot and I turned on the news and Marlon was walking through Harlem with Mayor Lindsay. And there were snipers and there was a lot of unrest and he kept walking and talking through those neighborhoods with Mayor Lindsay. It was one of the most incredible acts of courage I ever saw, and it meant a lot and did a lot."
Brando's participation in the African-American civil rights movement actually began well before King's death. In the early 1960s, he contributed thousands of dollars to both the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (S.C.L.C.) and to a scholarship fund established for the children of slain Mississippi N.A.A.C.P. leader Medgar Evers. By this time, Brando was already involved in films that carried messages about human rights: Sayonara, which addressed interracial romance, and The Ugly American, depicting the conduct of U.S. officials abroad and the deleterious effect on the citizens of foreign countries. For a time, he was also donating money to the Black Panther Party and considered himself a friend of founder Bobby Seale. Brando ended his financial support for the group over his perception of its increasing radicalization, specifically a passage in a Panther pamphlet put out by Eldridge Cleaver advocating indiscriminate violence, "for the Revolution."
At the 1973 Academy Awards ceremony, Brando refused to accept the Oscar for his performance in The Godfather. Sacheen Littlefeather represented him at the ceremony. She appeared in full Apache attire and stated that owing to the "poor treatment of Native Americans in the film industry", Brando would not accept the award. At this time, the 1973 standoff at Wounded Knee occurred, causing rising tensions between the government and Native American activists. The event grabbed the attention of the US and the world media. This was considered a major event and victory for the movement by its supporters and participants.
Outside of his film work, Brando appeared before the California Assembly in support of a fair housing law and personally joined picket lines in demonstrations protesting discrimination in housing developments.
He was also an activist against apartheid. In 1964, he favored a boycott of his films in South Africa to prevent them from being shown to a segregated audience. He took part at a 1975 protest rally against American investments in South Africa and for the release of Nelson Mandela. In 1989, Brando also starred in the film A Dry White Season, based upon André Brink's novel of the same name.
Comments on Jews, Hollywood and Israel
In an interview in Playboy magazine in January 1979, Brando said: "You've seen every single race besmirched, but you never saw an image of the kike because the Jews were ever so watchful for that—and rightly so. They never allowed it to be shown on screen. The Jews have done so much for the world that, I suppose, you get extra disappointed because they didn't pay attention to that."
Brando made a similar comment on Larry King Live in April 1996, saying "Hollywood is run by Jews; it is owned by Jews, and they should have a greater sensitivity about the issue of—of people who are suffering. Because they've exploited—we have seen the—we have seen the Nigger and Greaseball, we've seen the Chink, we've seen the slit-eyed dangerous Jap, we have seen the wily Filipino, we've seen everything but we never saw the Kike. Because they knew perfectly well, that that is where you draw the wagons around." Larry King, who is Jewish, replied, "When you say—when you say something like that you are playing right in, though, to anti-Semitic people who say the Jews are—" at which point Brando interrupted. "No, no, because I will be the first one who will appraise the Jews honestly and say 'Thank God for the Jews'."
Jay Kanter, Brando's agent, producer and friend defended him in Daily Variety: "Marlon has spoken to me for hours about his fondness for the Jewish people, and he is a well-known supporter of Israel." Similarly, Louie Kemp, in his article for Jewish Journal, wrote: "You might remember him as Don Vito Corleone, Stanley Kowalski or the eerie Col. Walter E. Kurtz in "Apocalypse Now," but I remember Marlon Brando as a mensch and a personal friend of the Jewish people when they needed it most." In an interview with NBC Today one day after Brando's death, King also defended Brando's comments, saying that they were blown out of proportion and taken out of context. In the 1940s Brando had donated money to the Irgun, a Jewish paramilitary group. In his later years, however, he became a vocal critic of Israel and a supporter of the Palestinian cause.
, 2h4 Directed byFrank Oz OriginUSA GenresDrama, Thriller, Action, Crime ThemesHeist films, Gangster films, Escroquerie ActorsRobert De Niro, Edward Norton, Marlon Brando, Angela Bassett, Gary Farmer, Paul Soles Roles Max Rating67% After nearly being caught on a routine burglary, master safe-cracker Nick Wells (Robert De Niro) decides the time has finally come to retire. Nick's flight attendant girlfriend, Diane (Angela Bassett), encourages this decision, promising to fully commit to their relationship if he does indeed go straight. Nick, however, is lured into taking one final score by his fence Max (Marlon Brando). The job, worth a $4 million payoff to Nick, is to steal a sceptre, which is discovered to be a French national treasure. It was hidden in the leg of an antique piano and smuggled illegally into Canada, stored in the ultra-secure basement of the Montréal Customs House after accidentally being uncovered.
, 1h31 Directed byYves Simoneau OriginCanada GenresThriller, Comedy, Action, Crime ActorsMarlon Brando, Charlie Sheen, Donald Sutherland, Mira Sorvino, Martin Sheen, Thomas Haden Church Roles Warden Sven 'The Swede' Sorenson Rating50% Sven "The Swede" Sorenson (Marlon Brando) is a malicious warden of the county, illegally executing some of his worst prisoners. Everybody in town hates and is scared of him, except his twin daughters (Holly Watson and Christin Watson). Swede's twins tell their father they're pregnant, lying in order to manipulate him into forcing their dim boyfriends, Bud Dyerson (Charlie Sheen) and Larry (Thomas Haden Church), into shotgun marriages. He also turns his sons-in-law into slave laborers, so Bud hatches an escape plan to rob a train carrying old bills to the mint for burning. Larry is his reluctant accomplice. When Bud is captured, he is railroaded into Swede's small-town jail by the Judge (Donald Sutherland) and Swede. His death looks certain, until he hatches yet another plan that requires Larry's help. Meanwhile, Judge's daughter and FBI Agent Karen Polarski (Mira Sorvino), come to his aid.