Marlon Brando's first wife Anna Kashfi dies at 80

Actress Anna Kashfi, first wife of Oscar-winning actor Marlon Brando, has passed away. She was 80.

Los Angeles: Actress Anna Kashfi, first wife of Oscar-winning actor Marlon Brando, has passed away. She was 80.

The ethnically ambiguous actress died on August 16 at a care center in Woodland, Washington, said The Hollywood Reporter.

Kashfi met Brando at the commissary at Paramount Studios in Hollywood, while she was making her movie debut in "The Mountain" (1956).

In the film, she starred opposite Spencer Tracy and Robert Wagner as a Hindu woman, who survives an airplane crash in the French Alps.

In her 1979 memoir, "Brando for Breakfast", Kashfi wrote that she was born in Darjeeling to Indian parents. Shortly after her marriage to Brando, two white people from Cardiff, Wales, said they were her parents and that Kashfi's real name was Joan O'Callaghan.

Kashfi and Brando married in October 1957 at his aunt's home, but they separated soon after their son, Christian, was born the following May. A divorce was finalised in 1960, but their custody battle over Christian was tempestuous and not resolved (in Brando's favour) until the boy was 13.

Kashfi played a Korean teacher in Rock Hudson's "Battle Hymn" (1957) and a Mexican in "Cowboy" (1958), starring Glenn Ford, and she was the African-American wife of singer Nat King Cole in "Night of the Quarter Moon" (1959).

Christian, the oldest of Brando's 11 children, shot and killed the boyfriend of his half-sister, Cheyenne, in their father's LA mansion in 1991 after she said she was being abused.

Christian died in 2008 at age 49, reportedly from pneumonia, after he served five years in prison and Cheyenne committed suicide in 1995. His father died in July 2004. 

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