“I have the most useless job, but I stay in Hollywood because I don’t have the guts to turn down the money.”
Hundreds, thousands of articles have been written about Marlon Brando that have looked at his life from all points of view. He was a highly regarded actor, a handsome man who, like many others, also stood out through the prism of the countless intimate relationships he had over time.
Because, isn’t it, fame is the result not only of the talent of the character in the center of the scene, but also of the sexual affairs in which he was involved and the mountains of money he earned. Fame is not for everyone and not everyone can carry it. It has proven to be fatal at times.
Adventure with Bob Dylan
Marlon Brando (b.1924 – d.2004) was married three times and had dozens and dozens, maybe hundreds (who would manage an exact estimate) of relationships with women, but also with men.
About homosexuality, Brando stated in an interview: “Homosexuality is so fashionable that it’s not even news anymore. Like many other men, I too have had homosexual experiences and I am not ashamed of it. I’ve never cared too much about what people think of me. But if there’s anyone who thinks Jack Nicholson and I are in love, keep believing. I think it’s funny.”
She was reported to have had an affair with Bob Dylan and a longer relationship with actor Wally Cox.
The tragedy of the Brando family
Regarding children, officially the actor would have had 11 (not all of them from relationships with his ex-wives), but even here the information is contradictory because it is speculated that the number of his children would have been higher than that. We linger a little on this chapter, remembering that, as life often strikes without warning, tragedies did not avoid the famous actor who lost two of his children in 1991 and 1995.
In 1991, one of Brando’s boys, following a scandal with his sister’s fiance, fatally shot the latter, the act being charged with prison. A few years later, his sister, who for some time had problems with drugs and alcohol, also suffering from depression, committed suicide in her mother’s house.
$1 million for a role
Marlon Brando was an actor with a full life. Money, fame, women, good roles… From the more than 60 films in which he played, the actor would have made a fortune of more than 100 million dollars (at least that’s what it is estimated that he would have had at his death). His rise in Hollywood grew quite quickly once he entered this world, at one point he was even paid $1 million for a role in a movie. A chameleon actor. He easily adapts to any type of role. He remained in everyone’s memory as Don Vito Corleone in “The Godfather”, Francis Ford Coppola’s film, which also brought him the Oscar for best actor.
Why did Marlon Brando refuse the Oscar?
Interestingly, the actor did not accept this trophy nor did he attend the award ceremony. His gesture was a protest against the way Native Americans were treated and portrayed in films at the time. Incidentally, at the Oscar party, which was held on March 27, 1973, Marlon Brando sent the indigenous actress Sacheen Littlefeather in his place precisely to refuse the award.
When the presenter, actor Roger Moore, wanted to hand the Oscar to Littlefeather, she rejected him, saying that Marlon Brando did not want to receive the trophy, then reading a statement written by the actor. Among other things, Brando conveyed, “The motion picture community has been as responsible as anyone else for the way in which they degraded the image of the Indians, satirizing their character and portraying them as savage, hostile, and evil.”
Marlon Brando, involved in numerous social campaigns
Activist Brando was involved in social campaigns for a long time, often appearing publicly and speaking about the causes he supported. In his written statement for the Oscars, he expressed his support for the Movement of American Indians (MIA), referring to a situation in the South Dakota city where several MIA members were allegedly wrongfully captured by US military forces.
The speech had a negative impact on the audience, and Littlefeather, then 26, later said that actor John Wayne had to be restrained by security to prevent him from assaulting her backstage, while other people were showing him offensive gestures.
Apologies after half a century
This year, nearly 50 years after the incident described above, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (professional institution of honors and recognition of merit, founded in 1927) issued a statement formally apologizing actress Sacheen Littlefeather.
“The abuse and insults you endured on that occasion were unfair and unjustified. The emotional burden you have had and the cost to your own career in our industry is irreparable. For too long, the courage you have shown has gone unappreciated and unrecognized. For that, we offer you both our sincerest apologies and our real admiration.” This letter was published when the presence of the Native American actress at the Oscars Museum was announced.
In response, Littlefeather (now aged 75) said “We Indians are very patient people – only 50 years have passed. We need to keep our sense of humor about this subject. Humor is our means of survival. But it warms my heart to see how much has changed since I didn’t accept the Oscar 50 years ago.”
Marlon Brando died in 2004, aged 80, of respiratory failure caused by pulmonary fibrosis. A two-time Oscar winner (he won his first trophy in 1954 for his role in ‘On the Waterfront’), his box office hits include ‘Viva Zapata’, ‘The Wild One’, ‘Last Tango in Paris’ , “A streetcar named desire”, “Julius Caesar” and many others.