As private in death as he was in life, Marlon Brando was cremated during a quiet funeral in Los Angeles on Monday attended only by family and cloaked in the kind of secrecy that surrounded the last years of his life, his lawyer, David Seeley, tells Reuters.
Seeley, who represented the acting legend and his business interests for the past four years, said he was not aware of details of the ceremony and knew of no plans for a public memorial service.
“All I can tell you is … anything that’s going to occur in the future is a private family matter,” said the attorney. “They’re keeping it under a closed, need-to-know basis.”
Seeley dismissed widely circulated media reports that the enigmatic actor had left behind precise, taped instructions for how he wanted to be memorialized and that his ashes were to be scattered over the Tahitian island he bought in 1966.
“None of that is true as far as I’m aware,” Seeley said. “He left a will that’s going to be probated, and that’s the document that’s going to control how everything gets distributed.”
Seeley said Brando, 80, was not married at the time of his death, and that he had nine children, including those he adopted and his deceased daughter, Cheyenne, who committed suicide in 1995.
The Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront and The Godfather star died Thursday at the University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center from a lung condition. Though few details of his passing have emerged, a longtime friend of the actor’s, agent-producer Jay Kantor, told Britain’s Guardian newspaper that Brando had been sick “on and off” for a long time but that his death came suddenly.
“The last time I saw him, he looked fine, but he was admitted to (the) hospital on Wednesday night,” said Kantor. “He passed away peacefully. There were a couple of family members present.”