MARLON BRANDO BIOGRAPHY:
Christian Brando, the troubled son of the late screen legend Marlon Brando, has died in Los Angeles from complications of pneumonia.
The 49-year-old was the eldest of the Oscar-winning actor’s nine children and his turbulent life bore all the traits of the troubles that have dogged the tragic family.
In 1990, he was arrested following the death of his half-sister’s boyfriend. Mr Brando, then 32, eventually pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of 26-year-old Dag Drollet, Cheyenne Brando’s lover and the father of her unborn child.
Marlon Brando posted a £2?million bond for his son and later offered rambling and emotional testimony pleading for leniency. Brando was given a 10-year prison sentence but served less than five years.
Born in Los Angeles to Marlon Brando’s first wife, the Calcutta-born actress Anna Kashfi, Christian was a toddler when the couple divorced.
After a protracted legal battle Kashfi was awarded custody of her son, but the order was revoked five years later when a judge said that her “reliance on drugs and alcohol” contributed to an uncontrollable temper.
After living with Marlon Brando’s older sister, Christian went to live with his father, who by that time had married twice more and had three more children. He was raised by nannies and sent to boarding school.
But while the actor was out of the country filming Last Tango in Paris, Kashfi allegedly kidnapped Christian and took him to Baja California, in Mexico. The boy was eventually found living in a tent and ill with bronchitis.
Christian dropped out of school and began drinking and using LSD. He tried a variety of jobs including welder and tree trimmer and lived for a time in Alaska, piloting a barge for a fish processor during the summers.
But he lived for years with his father in Brando’s hilltop estate. In 1990, Christian threatened Drollet with a gun after Cheyenne confided that he had been beating her. Christian claimed that as he turned to leave, his arm was outstretched and Drollet tried to grab the gun which went off.
In an interview with The Times, Christian said that later revelations about Cheyenne’s mental health made him later question whether she was ever beaten by Drollet. “I feel like a complete chump for believing her,” he said.
In 2005, he was charged with two counts of spousal abuse against his then-wife Deborah. He was placed on three years probation and ordered to undergo drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
In 1995, Cheyenne hanged herself at her mother’s home outside Papeete, the French Polynesian capital on the island of Tahiti. She was 25.
Cheyenne was the daughter of Brando and Tarita Teriipaia, who were married after appearing together in the 1962 film Mutiny on the Bounty. Cheyenne’s son, Tuki, was being raised in Tahiti by Drollet’s parents.
Marlon Brando died in 2004.
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