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Is Courtney Love the granddaughter of Marlon Brando?


Pictures of Courtney Love and Marlon Brando were being carefully compared in newsrooms back in 2003, when the story circulated that the famous rock widow was closely related to the legendary actor. According to the story, the star of The Godfather, Last Tango in Paris, The Wild One and many other films was her grandfather.

I am incredibly shocked. I have heard Mr Brando has more than 30 children, so I can’t imagine how many cousins I have

This revelation appeared to be a leak from an eagerly awaited book by Love’s mother, Linda Carroll, who had reportedly taken a DNA test to confirm that she was Brando’s illegitimate daughter – the consequence of a fling between the actor and her own mother, the author Paula Fox.

“I am incredibly shocked by this news,” Courtney Love was quoted as saying. “I have heard Mr Brando has more than 30 children, so I can’t imagine how many cousins I have.”

Shortly after the “news” broke, denials were issued by Linda Carroll and from the book’s publisher, Doubleday. “There was nothing in Linda Carroll’s book proposal about Marlon Brando,” said the publisher, “nor will there be anything in the book about him.” To make things crystal-clear, Doubleday added that “there is no truth to the suggestion that she is related to Marlon Brando”.

Brando died in 2004, the year after the dodgy story started doing the rounds. It may have been spread by a prankster, though Courtney Love’s publicity machine doesn’t have a perfect track record: a 2008 statement claiming that a thief had stolen the ashes of her late husband, Kurt Cobain, was followed by another announcement confirming that the remains were actually safe and sound.

© 2014 Tony Barrell

November 4, 2014

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About the Author

Tony Barrell is a pop historian, journalist, editor and Londoner who has spent much of his life interviewing musicians. He has written many major articles for The Sunday Times and other publications. His 2017 work The Beatles on the Roof is the first book to be published about the Fab Four’s famous 1969 rooftop concert.

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