Birthday: February 20, 1970
Died At Age: 25
Sun Sign: Pisces
Also Known As: Tarita Cheyenne Brando
Born in: Tahiti
Famous as: Model
Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Females
father: Marlon Brando
mother: Tarita Teriipaia
siblings: Angelique Brando, Christian Brando, Dylan Brando, Lisa Brando, Maimiti Brando, Michael G. Gilman, Miko Brando, Myles Jonathan Brando, Ninna Priscilla Brando, Petra Brando-Corval, Raiatua Brando, Rebecca Brando, Simon Teihotu Brando, Stephen Blackehart, Timothy Gahan Brando, Warren Brando
children: Tuki Brando
Died on: April 16, 1995
Cause of Death: Suicide
Who was Cheyenne Brando?
Cheyenne Brando was a Tahitian model who was best known as the daughter of legendary American actor Marlon Brando. She was born to Marlon’s third wife, who was a Tahitian actor. Cheyenne was born in 1970, and her parents separated in 1972. Cheyenne spent most of her childhood with her mother, in Tahiti. She was fascinated by her father during her childhood but as she grew up, she began hating him for abandoning her. She eventually started working as a model and also became a victim of uncontrolled drug abuse. In the late 1980s, a violent car accident brought an end to her modeling career and she slipped into depression. By that time, she had started dating Dag Drollet. The relationship ended in a tragedy. She claimed that Dag had abused her physically. Following this, her elder stepbrother, Christian, shot him dead. Cheyenne had become a mental patient by then, and her testimony was not accepted. In April 1995, Cheyenne hanged herself, bringing an end to her mental agony.
Cheyenne Brando was born on February 20, 1970, in Tahiti, to Marlon Brando and Tarita Teriipaia. Her father was one of the most well-known Hollywood actors of his time and is now regarded as an all-time legend. He met Tarita on the sets of his film ‘Mutiny on the Bounty,’ in 1962, and their love affair culminated in marriage.
Marlon was notorious for his womanizing ways and had many affairs while he was married to Tarita. Before Cheyenne’s birth, Tarita had had another son with Brando, Tehotu. Cheyenne knew Hollywood was not where she wanted her children to grow up in and soon moved to Tahiti with her two children. She did not allow her children to visit their father in the US.
Marlon visited his children for a few days every year. He bought a lavish estate for his family there. He, too, believed that his children would be better raised if they stayed away from the US.
Although Cheyenne did not see much of her father while growing up, she loved him and bragged about him in front of her friends. She would get excited whenever Brando would visit the family. However, in her teens, her feelings toward her father turned from love to bitterness. She had once badmouthed her father in front of everybody.
She was never interested in academics and dropped out of high school. She became addicted to drugs. Just as she was about to lose her life to drugs, she decided to start a modeling career. Being Marlon Brando’s daughter, she did not have a tough time finding steady jobs for herself.
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Tragic Love Life
In May 1987, at the age of 17, she fell in love with a man named Dag Drollet who was six years older to her. He was the son of one of the strongest political figures of Tahiti. The couple had met through a family gathering, as the Brandos and the Drollets were family friends.
They started dating and, for a while, she felt it was the best thing that could have ever happened to her. She quit drugs and began dreaming of a bright future.
In 1989, she got pregnant. On hearing the news, Marlon invited both of them to live with him in his Los Angeles mansion. The couple moved into Marlon’s mansion.
On May 16, 1990, Dag was shot dead by Cheyenne’s half-brother from her father’s side, Christian Brando. He accused that Dag had been abusing his sister physically and mentally. He also stated that he had only intended to threaten him and that Dag attacked him and accidentally shot himself. Christian Brando was arrested and was charged with the murder of Dag Drollet.
Dag’s lawyers knew that it was very important to get Cheyenne’s testimony in order to save their client. However, Cheyenne refused to testify in favor of her brother and fled to Tahiti instead. There, she gave birth to her son, Tuki Brando. Soon after the birth of her son, she tried committing suicide twice. This marked the beginning of her mental issues that continued till her death.
Meanwhile, Christian had no other way to prove his innocence. He was presented with a deal and accepted that the murder was pre-planned. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail for the murder of Dag Drollet. Cheyenne had already been declared as “mentally unstable,” and her testimony would not have been accepted by the court.
Worsening Mental Health
Cheyenne Brando had suffered from mental issues since her teenage years. She took drugs to suppress the pain, but it affected her mental and physical health adversely.
Another catalyst for her deteriorating mental health was the accident she had had in 1989, at the age of 19. She was driving a jeep and crashed it. She sustained deep injuries in her jaw, under her eyes, and in her ear. Her face was severely disfigured. Marlon was shooting for the film ‘The Freshman’ in Toronto at that time, and he immediately took her to a hospital in Los Angeles.
Although extensive facial reconstruction and plastic surgeries covered up the damage to a great extent, the accident brought an end to her modeling career. She was chronically depressed and could not accept this. She was soon addicted to recreational drugs. She experienced heavy bouts of depression and attempted suicide several times during this period.
Final Years & Death
Cheyenne Brando blamed herself for her elder brother’s imprisonment. She was also not happy with her father. She did not seem to ever attain happiness, and this led her to get admitted to a psychiatric hospital. She also frequented drug rehabilitation centers in the early 1990s. During those years, she was kept under surveillance, as she had attempted suicide a number of times.
Soon, she publicly accused her father of sexually abusing her since she was 7 years old. Marlon rejected the claims. Cheyenne stated in interviews that she was scared that her father could get her killed for blowing the whistle on him.
She was soon diagnosed with schizophrenia and was deemed unfit to take care of her son. His custody was given to Cheyenne’s mother, who took her grandson to Tahiti. Cheyenne became isolated from her friends and family and lived a dark, lonely life in her final months.
In early 1995, she was discharged from the hospital and taken to her mother’s house in Tahiti. She hanged herself on April 16, 1995.
Neither her father nor her half-brother attended her funeral.
She lived a life of tragedy. All her life, she tried to gain happiness but was never able to overcome her demons. She was one of those unlucky people who, despite having everything in their lives, struggle for something more meaningful.