Marlon Brando remains one of the most acclaimed American actors of all time. Known for his roles in A Streetcar Named Desire and The Godfather — both of which won him the Academy Award for Best Actor, Marlon first rose to fame in the 1950s and continued to work until his death from pulmonary fibrosis in 2004. Marlon was 80-years-old when he died, and his impact on cinema is felt to this very day. But, Marlon’s legacy is complicated, due mainly to his troubled and turbulent personal life.
Brando was married three times in his life. He first tied the knot actress Anna Kashfi in 1957. The couple welcomed their son, Christian Brando, in 1958 but divorced in 1959. Marlon then wed Movita Castaneda in 1960, but she was “the wife he never admitted he had” until he was under oath in a 1961 legal battle with Anna Kashfi,” according to a 1968 clipping from the Philadelphia Daily News. That year, Brando won an annulment because Movita’s previous marriage was still active. Marlon and Movita had two children together: Miko Brando (born 1961) and Rebecca Brando (born 1966).
In 1962, Marlon reportedly married his Mutiny on the Bounty co-star, Tarita Teriipaia. They stayed together until 1972. They had two children together during that time: Simon Brando (born 1963) and Tarita Cheyenne Brando (born 1970.)
Marlon reportedly adopted Maimiti Brando (born 1977), Tarita’s daughter, from a prior relationship, according to Australia’s The Age. He also adopted Tarita’s niece, Raiatua Brando (b. 1982), a decade after Marlon and Tarita called it quits. However, The Age notes that Maimiti and Raiatua “do not show up in Brando biographies” and were mentioned in his will.
Though Marlon never married again, he continued to date and procreate. He and his housekeeper, Maria Cristina Ruiz, had three children together, per the New York Post. Those three are Ninna Priscilla Brando (born 1989), Myles Jonathan Brando (born 1992), and Timothy Gahan Brando (born 1994). Brando adopted Petra Brando-Corval, the daughter of his assistant Caroline Barrett and novelist James Clavell, when the girl was 14-years-old.
Here’s what we know of Marlon’s children.
Marlon Brando’s oldest son, Christian Brando, was born on May 11, 1958. He took after his father and pursued acting, but most of his credits were listed under Gary Brown. Those credits include I Love You, Alice B. Toklas!, The Secret Life of an American Wife, and Unmasked Part 25. Unfortunately, Cristian will be remembered for his criminal record. In a 2005 lawsuit, Christian’s ex-wife, Deborah, accused him of allegedly beating her and threatening to kill her in the presence of her daughter, per Access Online. The suit claimed “violation of civil rights, assault, domestic violence, battery, and emotional distress.” The couple settled the case in 2007.
Christian Brando is most known for the killing of Dag Drollet, the boyfriend of his half-sister, Cheyenne. In May 1990, she told Christian that Dag had been slapping her around, per The Guardian. Christian, who had been drinking heavily that night, claimed he merely threatened Drollet with a gun, and it had gone off accidentally. Christian eventually pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to prison in 1991. He was released in 1996.
Christian ultimately passed away on Jan. 26, 2008, due to pneumonia.
Marlon shares his second-oldest Miko Brando with his second wife, Movita. Born on Feb. 26, 1961, the 60-year-old also drew inspiration from his father and became an actor. He played small roles in some films, including Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star and Pancho’s Pizza, according to his IMDB page. Miko also appeared in Michael Jackson’s music videos for “Thriller” and “You Rock My World.”
Miko and the King of Pop were quite close friends, just like the singer was with Marlon. “I was friends with Michael Jackson for over 27 years, and my father adored him,” Miko wrote in a 2019 letter to the Los Angeles Times, per Page Six, after a report claimed that Marlon made Jackson cry over a dinner conversation about the singer’s sexuality. “I don’t appreciate my father’s words being twisted to imply that Michael hurt anyone.”
Simon Teihotu Brando
Simon Brando was born on May 30, 1963. He is Marlon and his third wife Tarita’s first kid together. The 58-year-old has kept a much lower profile than his older half-brothers. While he isn’t an actor, he does lead a proud life living and working in the family resort The Brando in French Polynesia. He is also a father of three, according to IMDB.
Rebecca Brando was born to Marlon and his second wife Movita in 1966. She took after her father and pursued a career in acting. The 56-year-old was proud of her father’s accomplishments and endorsed a documentary about him titled Listen To Me Marlon. “I’m just relieved that it shows my father as a person and not just this superstar,” Rebecca told Metro of the film. “I would go over to friends’ house, and the parents immediately wanted to see me and talk to me, about his eight issues or tell me, ‘Your father’s not very pleasant on sets.’ They weren’t sensitive that, hey, he’s my father. To them, it was just some story they saw in the newspaper.'”
Tarita Cheyenne Brando
Tarita Cheyenne Brando, better known as Cheyenne Brando, was born on Feb. 20, 1970, to dad Marlon and mom Tarita. She pursued a career in modeling but made headlines after getting pregnant with Dag Drollett, the man Christian Brando gunned down. Cheyenne struggled with depression following the ordeal and sadly, hung herself in her Tahiti home in 1995, per the Los Angeles Times. She was 25 years old.
Marlon’s family grew again in 1986. At the time, Marlon’s assistant – Caroline Barrett – was in a messy legal battle with Petra’s dad, James Clavell, according to AmoMama. With Brando’s help, Caroline sued James, reportedly claiming the relationship had “emotionally” damaged her and requested $7 million in palimony. The suit was eventually dropped. Afterward, Brando helped pay for Petra’s school and university fees, and she would come to consider Marlon, her father.
In honor of Marlon’s civil rights activism, she launched the Brando Fischer Foundation to help underprivileged children. “It’s been an emotional ride remembering all the special moments my dad and I shared together,” Petra told the Golden Globes of his passing. “It’s also a really wonderful opportunity to see so many people celebrating him. It’s heartwarming. I didn’t know it would be as emotional as it’s been.”
Maimiti & Raiatua Brando
Marlon adopted Tarita’s daughter, Maimiti, born in 1977, and niece, Raiatua, born in 1982, according to The Irish Express. Still, there’s very little beyond that and the mention in Australia’s The Age to verify that. Neither Maimiti nor Raitua has a presence online, so it’s not possible to verify Marlon’s parentage.
Ninna, Myles, & Timothy
Born: May 13, 1989, 32-year-old Ninna Brando is the eldest child between Maria Cristina Ruiz and Marlon Brando. During their thirteen-year love affair, Marlon and Maria welcomed Myles and Timothy. All three children have stayed out of the spotlight, and little is known about them.
In 2002, their mother filed a $100 million lawsuit against Marlon, claiming breach of contract. She claims that Marlon stopped “all support and maintenance” to her, although he had kept paying child support. The Post recognized Marlon and Maria’s children as his “ninth, tenth, and eleventh,” seemingly lending credence to the reports Brando adopted Maimiti and Raiatua.