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Marlon Brando Purposefully Cut a Daughter out of the Will He Changed 2 Weeks before His Death

Edduin Carvajal
Nov 01, 2021
01:20 P.M.

Legendary actor Marlon Brando shared his fortune among many of his children after passing away but cut his adopted daughter, Petra Fisher, out of his will weeks before passing.


Multi-award-winning actor Marlon Brandon had a successful career spanning six decades. Unfortunately, he spent his final months alive in a legal battle with Caroline Barrett, his adopted daughter's mom.

Things didn't turn out like he would have liked, though, so he ended up cutting his adopted daughter, Petra Fisher, out of his will. Here's all we could find about their relationship.

Promotional portrait of Marlon Brando circa 1951 | Photo: Getty Images

Promotional portrait of Marlon Brando circa 1951 | Photo: Getty Images


Like many other celebrities, Brando tried to live away from the spotlight, so the details of his life were as scarce as they were intriguing for his millions of fans.

Something as simple as the number of children he had is still a mystery. At the moment, it is believed he fathered 11 kids – some were biological, and others were adopted.


The actor's eldest son was Christian, born in 1958 during his relationship with actress Anna Kashfi. Christian spent five years behind bars for fatally shooting Dag Drollet, the abusive boyfriend of his younger sister, Cheyenne. More on Cheyenne later.

Marlon Brando on January 4, 1967 | Photo: Getty Images

Marlon Brando on January 4, 1967 | Photo: Getty Images

With his second wife, Movita Castaneda, Brando had Miko and Rebecca, born in 1961 and 1966. Only one year after Miko's birth, Brando welcomed his first child with Tarita Teri'ipaia, Simon.

In 1970, their second kid, Cheyenne, was born. It was during this time that he started adopting. His first adopted kid was Teri'ipaia's daughter, Maimiti, born in 1977.


He then brought Raiatua, Teri'ipaia's niece, into his family. They parted ways in 1972, and he never remarried. In 1976, Caroline Barrett started working as Marlon Brando's assistant.

When her daughter, Petra, was 14 years old, he adopted her due to Barrett's messy legal battle with Petra's dad, James Clavell.


With Brando's help. Barrett sued Clavell and claimed she had been "emotionally disturbed." She requested $7 million palimony even though Clavell had previously agreed to pay over $40,000 to help raise Petra. The case was eventually dropped.

After that, Brando financially helped Petra by paying for her school and university fees. For years, she considered him her father, and when Cheyenne died by suicide in 1995, Petra comforted him. Sadly, their relationship broke at the end of his life.

Two weeks before dying, the actor made some changes to his will and cut Petra out.



In 1985, Brando gave Barrett $185,000 so that she and Petra could buy a house and settle down in London at his request for business reasons. However, things complicated in the early 2000s, shortly after Barrett retired as his assistant.

At the time, the actor's finances worsened, so he asked Barrett to repay the loan. She pointed out that it was supposed to be a "gift" as he never expected it to be repaid.

Marlon Brando's former assistant even said it was his way to punish her for retiring against his wishes in 2001, mainly because he had promised to tell his lawyers to cancel the loan after the London home was sold in 1990.


Barrett and Brando couldn't manage the situation on their own, so they took things to court. His paperwork showed that the money was indeed a loan for tax purposes.

In late June 2004, the court battle ended in Barrett's favor. On July 1, 2004, Brando died of lung failure only four days after the case was settled. He was 80 years old.



Even after passing, Brando and Barrett's financial issues made headlines. Two weeks before dying, the actor made some changes to his will and cut Petra out. His will read:

"I intentionally and with full knowledge of the consequences do not provide in my will or in my living trust for Cheyenne's issue or for Petra Brando-Corval, or for any of Petra's issue."

Given that Cheyenne had already died by the time Brando did, the person who got cut out from his will apart from Petra was Cheyenne's then-teenage son.



The "Godfather" star's will was approved in August 2004 with no objections filed by other possible heirs, so his $21 million estate was successfully divided among most of his children.

Marlon Brando's former manager Larry Dressler, film executive and friend Mike Medavoy, and friend Avra Douglas were the will's executors and ensured a flawless process.

Even before working in "The Godfather," Brando's paychecks were already making headlines.


The most considerable portion of his estate ($18.6 million) was real estate properties, including a house in Beverly Hills and many more on 11 islands in Tahiti.

Brando also had approximately $3 million in other personal belongings, including paintings, sketches, and rare scripts. It is essential to point out that even Brando's youngest children, Nina, Myles, and Timothy (15, 12, and 10 at the time of his passing), were included in the will.

All that money was the result of years of booking roles in big-budget and successful films. With "The Godfather," for example, he made $250,000 plus over $2 million as a percentage of the film's gross. In total, he made the equivalent of $6.5 million today.


"The Missouri Breaks" also filled his pockets as he got 11.3 percent of the film gross and was paid $1.25 million for his acting job. His total take was about $16.5 million.

Brando's appearance in "Superman" as the protagonist's father was relatively short (about 15 minutes either on-screen or doing voice-overs). Still, he took home about $3 million.

The actor earned a similar profit for the 1980s "The Formula" and "The Freshman" in 1990 before making about $5 million for his appearance in 1992's "Christopher Columbus: The Discovery."


Even before working in "The Godfather," Marlon Brando's paychecks were already making headlines. In 1959, he became the first actor to be paid $1 million for a film, "The Fugitive Kind." Brando was indeed a one-of-a-kind actor.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. Other international suicide helplines can be found at befrienders.org.

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