The Truth About Marlon Brando's Private Island

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Marlon Brando is one of the most iconic actors of the 20th century, best known for starring in "The Godfather" and "A Streetcar Named Desire." A lesser-known fact about the actor is that he was also the owner of a private atoll in French Polynesia, surrounded by lush palm trees, white sands, and a clear blue ocean. He wrote in his autobiography about his favorite place, saying, "If I've ever come close to finding genuine peace, it was on my island."

Brando grew up in Illinois, attending a military school and digging ditches to save up money, reports Biography. He then moved to New York and began studying "method acting" to bring his characters to life. Brando made his Broadway debut in 1944, and within a few years he played a pivotal role as Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire." In the 1950s, Brando took his talents to the silver screen, starring in "On the Waterfront," "Guys and Dolls," and "The Young Lions."

By 1960, when Brando discovered the private atoll of Teti'aroa off the coast of Tahiti, he was quickly becoming a big-name actor. While filming "Mutiny on the Bounty," in Teti'aroa, Brando was on his worst behavior. He would try to change the script during filming and often argued with the cast and crew members, according to Biography. Brando became self-indulgent, eating too much and having affairs with women.

Falling under the island's spell

Marlon Brando fell in love with the island lifestyle, and officially purchased the atoll in 1967. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Brando was known for flying his celebrity friends out to enjoy the private luxuries the island had to offer, reports Nuvo.

In 2004, Marlon Brando died at age 80, and his ashes were scattered across Teti'aroa. Brando's kids are the current owners of the property, and in 2014, they opened the Brando Resort to the public. Visitors can soak up the sun in one of 35 luxury beachfront villas for a cool $3,500 per night, reports Outside Magazine.

A-list celebrities routinely jet to Teti'aroa for glamorous vacations, and Former President Barack Obama worked on his memoirs there. Most recently, the island attracted the attention of the world when Kim Kardashian announced in a viral tweet that she and 30 friends flew to the island to "pretend things were normal just for a brief moment" during the height of the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.

Other than celebrities and travelers, scientists also inhabit the island to study sharks, turtles, and coral reefs. Brando's island has left a lasting mark on visitors, who continue to seek out Teti'aroa for peace and relaxation.