Marlon Brando had a complicated personal life, which included multiple marriages and children.
Not all people who want kids are ready to be parents. They are unable to give up their work or other engagements to give attention to their children, who end up growing up in a turbulent environment. Unfortunately, it shapes them in the image of dark realities, sometimes breaking them beyond repair. As a parent, we may realize that when it's too late and can only express regret and apologize for our actions.
Actor Marlon Brando is known for his star power and acting prowess but while he excelled professionally, his personal life suffered. His children paid a heavy price and it even cost the lives of two of his most famous kids. His son and heir, Christian Devi Brando, was born in 1958 to Kolkata-born actress Anna Kashfi, whom he met in 1955. The Godfather actor married Kashfi in 1958 but they divorced the next year.
And, there began Christian's hard childhood. His parents battled for his custody and his mother won, as per LA Times. However, just five years later Christian was removed from her custody because of her addictions. The 6-year-old child went to live with Brando's older sister. By 1972, Brando, who had become a father to three more kids and had married twice more, gained custody of his child. Unfortunately, he was too busy and his first-born was being raised by nannies. Eventually, he was sent to boarding school in Ojai.
Kashfi found this arrangement unacceptable and ended up kidnapping her child, eventually taking him to Baja California. The child was found living in a tent and ill with bronchitis. He was rescued and taken back to his father but his mother didn't stop seeking custody. Eventually, she was granted visitation rights.
Their son was already troubled by the 11th grade and dependent on narcotics. He dropped out of high school and tried his hand at many jobs, including his father's profession. Nothing stuck though. He gained notoriety in 1990 for shooting his half-sister Cheyenne Brando's partner. He believed his sister when she claimed that her boyfriend, Dag Drollet, was hurting her.
Brando was home and called the emergency 911 number in Los Angeles at night saying that a man had been shot in his home, as per People. Christian, then-32, told the police that he accidentally killed the man. Cheyenne, then-20, had been pregnant at the time. Christian, who became a father figure to his siblings, reportedly confronted Drollet with a .45 calibre handgun but it went off when Drollet tried to take it away from him. There were no witnesses to the crime.
However, Drollet never abused Cheyenne and she showed no signs of injury. "There was no abuse ever involved," insisted LAPD Det. Andy Monsue.
"I did not go into that room to kill Dag Drollet," Christian Brando told LA Times in 1991. "I just wanted to scare him." His explanations were not enough and he did serve jail term for his actions. The actor pleaded for a reduced sentence for his son saying, "I think that perhaps I failed as a father. I'm certain that there were things that I could have done differently, had I known better at the time. But I didn’t."
The A Streetcar Named Desire actor later said, "I feel like a complete chump for believing her [Cheyenne]." Her mental health was reportedly not in the best shape and she was sent to a mental health institution. She gave birth to her son but looks like Brando failed his daughter as well. She died by suicide at the age of 25 in Tahiti after losing custody, according to the New York Times. Cheyenne’s son, Tuki, was raised in Tahiti by Drollet’s parents.
Christian was also accused of murder by TV star Robert Blake, who claimed that he was responsible for killing Blake’s wife, Bonny Lee Bakley. It was later revealed that Christian was not related to the crime at all, as per Court TV. The eldest son of the famed actor was also unlucky in marriage. He was accused by ex-wife Deborah of beating and threatening to kill her. He claimed that it was she who hurt him physically but ended up pleading no contest to two charges of spousal abuse. He was sentenced to three years of probation and drug and alcohol rehabilitation as well as a domestic abuse prevention program, according to BBC. The lawsuits had been settled.
He died at the age of 49 in 2008 because of pneumonia. He was not married at the time and had no children.