In October 1957, Hollywood's hottest property,
Marlon Brando, got hitched. His wife originated from India,
the daughter of wealthy Calcutta parents. So exotic was
his new bride that she'd been trained in all the classical
dances of Asia. At least, that's what she told Marlon.
In truth, she was Joanna O'Callaghan, an ex-waitress and
model from Cardiff.
Brando & Kashfi
When Brando discovered the deception he
was furious and the marriage became doomed. It would last
less than a year. The couple had first met in 1955 during
the shooting of The Mountain, a Spencer Tracy film in
which Kashfi had a small part. A desultory courtship began
which might have remained little more than a passionate
fling except that Kashfi became pregnant. In a bid to
legitimize the birth, they married. Cynics have asserted
that this was as all part of her grand plan to ensnare
the heartthrob. If true, then Kashfi goes down in history
as the ultimate Cardiff girl on the make.
Their son Christian was born in May 1958.
In September of that same year Brando and Kashfi separated.
What followed was a bitter custody battle that would last
years. During this epic struggle Kashfi would accuse Brando
of being a wife-beater; in turn, he pointed out her over-fondness
for drugs and booze. Neither of them were ideal parental
The struggle took its bizarrest turn in
1972 when Kashfi effectively had her son kidnapped from
school and taken to Mexico, for which she was later arrested.
Reportedly, the town where the boy was taken was San
Felipe, Baja, Mexico. This episode
prompted the courts to grant Brando sole custody of Christian.
No doubt the protracted custody battle had a profoundly
negative affect on their unhappy son, who in 1991 was
convicted of the manslaughter of his stepsister's boyfriend.
He received a lengthy prison sentence.
Anna Kashfi cut a pathetic figure at her
son's trial, telling anybody prepared to listen that Marlon
Brando was to blame for the whole unsavory tragedy. Each
day she turned up at the County Jail to visit Christian
and each day he steadfastly refused to see her. Ostracized
by her family, Kashfi continues to struggle with her alcohol
problems and is now reported to be living alone in a trailer