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Anna Kashfi dead; actress and former wife of Marlon Brando was 80

Actor Marlon Brando, 33, and actress Anna Kashfi,

Actor Marlon Brando, 33, and actress Anna Kashfi, 23, who is a native of India, are married Oct. 11, 1957 at the home of Brando's aunt in Hollywood, Calif. Credit: AP

(TNS) -- Anna Kashfi, an actress who played exotic beauties on screen and who went through a brief, turbulent marriage to Marlon Brando, has died at a care center in Woodland, Wash. She was 80.

Kashfi was Brando's first wife and the mother of their son Christian.

Her Aug. 16 death was confirmed by Cowlitz County Coroner Tim Davidson, who said it was from natural causes.

Kashfi was married to Brando for 11 months before their separation in 1958. However, their stormy relationship and her sometimes frantic attempts to secure custody of their son generated headlines for years.

In her 1979 memoir, "Brando for Breakfast," she called the cinema superstar "a balding, paunchy hypochondriac, a middle-aged, wheezing Superman; an egomaniac, a rock upon which other egos founder."

She also said he was physically and emotionally abusive. "Within his being lurks the unregenerate soul of a Cro-Magnon," she wrote.

In court testimony, Brando contended that his ex-wife was a violent woman addicted to alcohol and prescription drugs. He said he married her only because she was pregnant, and that he intended at the time to get a divorce within a year.

They married in his aunt's Los Angeles living room on Oct. 11, 1957. Their divorce became final in 1960.

Born Sept. 30, 1934, in Darjeeling, India, Kashfi told gossip columnist Hedda Hopper that she got into pictures after a Paramount executive spotted her at a party in London when she was 18.

"It all happened so fast," she said. "The first thing I knew I was in Switzerland."

In "The Mountain" (1956), with Spencer Tracy, she played a Hindu girl who survives a plane crash in the Alps. Her other films included "Battle Hymn" (1957) and Glenn Ford's "Cowboy" (1958).

In 1974, Kashfi married electronics executive James Hannaford. He died in 1986. She was known as Anna K. Hannaford at the time of her death.

© 2015, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.


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