The Surprising Places Marlon Brando's Ashes Are Scattered

Humans have been cremating their dead for thousands of years, although the practice didn't fully catch on in the West until the 20th century, according to the Plinton Curry Funeral Home. One potential benefit of the practice is that it allows the family and loved ones of the cremated individual to scatter the remains in a place, or places, that were important to them.

For example, actor Alan Hale, Jr., who portrayed The Skipper on "Gilligan's Island," had his ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean, according to MeTV. Similarly, sometimes fans of Disney theme parks intend to spend eternity (in a manner of speaking) there and ask their families to scatter their ashes at one Disney establishment or another, with the Haunted Mansion being a particularly attractive final resting place, for reasons that should be obvious. Unfortunately, according to The Wall Street Journal, the practice is against the rules, and the cremains are more than likely going to simply be vacuumed up.

Actor Marlon Brando managed to secure a more dignified fate in death, having his ashes scattered in more remote locations. Mostly.

Marlon Brando's ashes were divided, then scattered

Two of the final resting places of "The Godfather" actor Marlon Brando couldn't be more opposite: one a hot and dusty desert, the other a tropical paradise.

After his death in 2004, according to the Los Angeles Times, Brando's loved ones scattered some of his ashes in California's Death Valley, a place that was reportedly important to him. According to a companion L.A. Times report, at least some of the cremated remains of Brando's friend, Wally Cox, were also scattered with him at the location.

This was apparently done without the knowledge or consent of National Park Service employees. "We had absolutely no idea until we read the paper. ... No one at the park had been contacted," said a park spokesperson. What's more, Death Valley is notoriously windy and dusty, which means that, if you're at the right place at the right time when a wind kicks up, it's not unlikely that a little bit of Brando may have blown onto you.

The rest of Brando's ashes were scattered in a slightly more hospitable place. According to an Associated Press report published by the Houston Chronicle, what wasn't consigned to Death Valley was scattered in the tropical paradise that is the South Pacific island of Tahiti.

Some of Brando's ashes wound up in legal limbo

Not all of Marlon Brando's ashes were scattered in his favorite places, however. Some went to his son, Christian Brando, according to TMZ. What's more, according to The Guardian, those remains were unceremoniously shipped to Christian via FedEx.

Christian died in 2008, effectively leaving his share of his father's ashes to his girlfriend, Donna Lopez Geon. Christian's mother, Anna Kashfi, who divorced Marlon in 1959, wanted the ashes back. A judge had named her executor of her late son's estate.

However, Geon claimed that there's no reason for her to give up what had once belonged to her partner. "Christian wasn't close with his family and wouldn't have wanted his mother or anyone else to have his property when he died," she said, noting that, when she heard that Kashfi was after the ashes, spread at least some of them in a Beverly Hills-area canyon.

It remains unclear if any more of Marlon Brando's ashes were scattered anywhere else, or if they are perhaps kept in some forgotten-about cellar or storage locker.